LOS ANGELES - Seven people have been arrested and charged using phony driver's licenses and Social Security cards to drain the bank accounts of unsuspecting victims.The arrests occurred last week as a federal task force served search and arrest warrants throughout L.A. County. The task force included Secret Service agents and officers from the Huntington Beach Police Department, in conjunction with local police agencies at the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. The suspects allegedly used phony identification to remove cash from the victims' checking and savings accounts. They were able to withdraw up to $9,000 in a single transaction, but as much as $35,000 in a single day, authorities said. The scam had been ongoing over the last several years. The total take was estimated to be "in the multiple tens of millions" of dollars, law enforcement officials said. Victims are scattered throughout the United States but a large majority are from California and Washington state. Law enforcement officials said they confiscated several hundred thousand dollars in cash, jewelry and "high-end cars" while serving last week's search warrants. Anyone with additional information on the case is asked call Detective Smith at (714) 960-8848 or Sgt. Shields at (714) 536-5948.
********** Published: August 30, 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 20