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Two arraigned in alleged identity theft scheme targeting students

According to the U.S. Attorney of the Northern District of Georgia, two people have been arraigned for charges concerning an alleged identity theft scheme for obtaining thousands of dollars from medical and law students. Both face charges of aggravated identity theft, tampering with computers and documents, conspiracy to commit bank fraud; the 27-year-old female defendant also faces charges of computer fraud.

These charges are serious ones-each carries with it serious penalties that can forever change the accused's life. Some of the charges the two face carry with them a maximum twenty year prison sentence and the fines associated with some of the charges could be as much as $250,000 each.

According to the indictment, the duo compiled a list of the graduating students of 2013 through various means and then obtained their birth dates and social security numbers. The indictment further alleges that armed with this information, they applied for loans on the students' names. The two are accused of using this personal information to obtain passwords to access the university's online system and request transcripts wherever needed for the loans. In addition to this, it is alleged that the funds obtained were deposited in bank accounts opened in the unsuspecting victims' names.

Once the funds were deposited, various members of the alleged ring were suspected to have withdrawn the money from various ATMs. The alleged scheme was operable for about six months. Other participants are suspected to be a part of the alleged scheme, but the federal investigation is ongoing at the time.

An indictment only has charges enumerated in it-anyone accused of a crime is innocent until proven guilty through the justice system. The federal justice system is a swift and complex one and Georgia residents who find themselves facing criminal charges may want to consider consulting an experienced defense attorney to prepare a comprehensive and aggressive defense strategy.

Source: Virginia Highland -Druid Hills Patch, "Emory students targeted by suspected identity thieves," Ann Quill, Dec. 13, 2013

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Former Federal Prosecutors

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