Identity Thief Sentenced To 16 Years in Prison

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BusinessWeek.com has posted an article about a recent identity theft case. Leonardo Darnell Zanders was convicted for helping to lead a ring of identity theft that caused $1.5 million in losses to financial institutions, including Ben S. Bernanke, a Federal Reserve Board Chairman, and his wife among the victims. Zanders must also repay $1.4 million in reimbursements.

Zanders pled guilty for…

conspiring to commit bank fraud. He helped direct the scheme to use the IDs and stolen bank information to impersonate victims and make “split” transactions, depositing a check drawn on the bank account of another victim, and then siphoning the money out of the falsely inflated account, court records show.

Darrell Earl Price, a co defendant in the trial, testified that Zanders gave him checks belonging to the Bernankes. Mr. Bernanke said that his family was just one of about 500 families affected by Zanders’ crime ring. Zanders acquired the Bernanke’s bank information after Mrs. Bernanke’s purse was stolen.

Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the United States, victimizing about 700,000 people a year. Consumers should certainly be taking extra precautions to protect themselves from becoming identity theft victims themselves.

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