Ailsa Chang is an award-winning journalist who covers criminal justice, terrorism and the courts for WNYC. She found her way into public radio after practicing law for five years, and can definitely say that walking the streets of New York City with a microphone is a lot more fun than being holed up in the office writing letters to opposing counsel.
More than 30 Arrested in Identity Theft Ring
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
More than 30 people have been arrested for stealing millions of dollars through an identity theft scheme that stretched from Staten Island to Fort Hood, Texas.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly says most of the suspects are Nigerians living on Staten Island who stole personal information from their victims to drain their checking, investment and credit card accounts.
"They were relentless in trying to get information," said Kelly. "Thousands of attempts in this case were made."
Richmond County District Attorney Daniel Donovan says many of the victims were Staten Island residents who left their mailboxes unattended.
"Please lock your mailbox," said Donovan. "Many of the identities that were stolen in our case were because people were sent around Staten Island to steal people's mail."
Victims included at least 60 Staten Island residents and more than a dozen soldiers on active duty in Iraq and Afghanistan; 27 banks -- mostly on Staten Island -- also suffered losses. Police officials say the ring stole at least $5 million total.
Kelly says most of the suspects are not U.S. citizens and that the majority of the offenses they've been charged with could trigger deportation.