News and Press Releases

EMPLOYEE OF JEWISH COMMUNITY SERVICES CHARGED WITH STEALING PERSONAL IDENTIFICATION INFORMATION

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 21, 2011

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Vance Luce, Acting Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Secret Service, and Larry Gomer, Interim Chief, North Miami Beach Police Department, announce the filing of a criminal complaint charging defendant Crystal Thorne, 23, of Miami, with identity theft, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1028(a)(7). Defendant Thorne had her initial appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Andrea Simonton.

According to affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, defendant Thorne was employed at the Jewish Community Services of South Florida, in North Miami. In the course of her employment, Thorne had access to the personal identifying information of current clients at the Jewish Community Services who were seeking assistance from the Holocaust Survivors Assistance Program. Personal identifying information includes names, addresses, and social security numbers.

On November 18, 2011, a cooperating individual (CI) informed a detective with the North Miami Beach Police Department that Thorne had provided the CI with stolen identities from the Jewish Community Services of South Florida’s Holocaust Survivors Assistance Program. That same day, the CI made a recorded call to Thorne. In this conversation, Thorne stated that she had thirty(30) identifications at her home, which she was willing to sell to the CI for $1,000.

On November 19, 2011, the CI met with Thorne in the CI’s car. During this meeting, which was also recorded, Thorne gave the CI approximately 32 sheets containing identity information stolen from the Jewish Community Services of South Florida. As they had previously discussed by phone, the CI paid Thorne $1,000 for the stolen identities. The CI told Thorne that he intended to use the stolen identities to file for fraudulent tax refunds. Thorne was arrested as she left the CI’s car with the $1,000.

Mr. Ferrer thanked the U.S. Secret Service, members of the South Florida Organized Fraud Task Force, and the North Miami Beach Police Department for their work on this case. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Diane Patrick.

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A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

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