The Los Angeles Times has posted an article about a recent case of identity theft that involved Mr. Donald Bren, a wealthy and well known real estate mogul in Orange County, California. He has been ranked as the 45th richest man in the world, the 16th richest American and is estimated to be worth $12 billion.
In a truly bizarre twist, what seems to have happened is that a man (who looks nothing like Mr. Bren) walked into a branch of East West bank, opened accounts in Bren’s name and then deposited a $1.4 million tax-refund check that he had somehow managed to steal from Bren. The thief used $1.1 million of the check over the next few weeks.
He used a fake driver’s license and Social Security number to open the accounts, and even put “smoke shop” as his occupation. The identity thief didn’t mention Bren’s job has the chairman of Irvine Co., which is a massive land development company, and over the next few weeks proceeded to transfer money to account-holders of outside banks. Authorities are still working on finding out who controls the accounts.
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