Twenty-four Persons Charged With Id Theft And Selling Stolen Goods On "e-Bay"
Las Vegas, Nev. – A federal grand jury has returned a 51-count Indictment against 24 Las Vegas residents alleging they used false identification cards, counterfeit credit cards, and counterfeit checks to purchase merchandise from retail stores and sell it on internet auction websites, such as "eBay,", announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.
The 24 defendants allegedly obtained the goods and merchandise from merchants in the Las Vegas area and elsewhere, and transported the stolen property to locations in Las Vegas where the stolen property was stored and concealed. The defendants then sold the stolen property to innocent purchasers via computer internet auction websites, such as "eBay."
"This case is significant in that it demonstrates there is an organized effort by individuals in the Las Vegas area to utilize identity theft tactics and the internet to steal and sell merchandise," said U.S. Attorney Bogden. "The U.S. Attorney's Office is working with multiple law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute individuals who commit this type of crime. As a measure of self-protection, I encourage you to check your credit report regularly, and if you think you have been the victim of identity theft, immediately report the crime to the appropriate law enforcement agency."
The Indictment, which was returned on June 13, 2006, and unsealed today, charges all defendants with one count of conspiracy to commit various types of fraud, identity theft and offenses involving stolen property. Additionally, defendants are variously charged with production, possession and transfer of false identification documents, identity theft, bank fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, interstate transportation of stolen property, possession and sale of stolen property, using the identification of another during and in relation to a felony offense, and criminal forfeiture.
The Indictment states that defendants SHARON SIMON, age 31, and SHANNON SIMON, age 32, told the other defendants what types of goods and merchandise should be illegally obtained. Once the stolen goods were obtained, a group of defendants delivered the goods to SHARON SIMON and SHANNON SIMON who paid them approximately one-half of their retail value. That group of defendants then delivered the payments back to the other defendants for distribution. SHARON SIMON and SHANNON SIMON stored the stolen merchandise at various locations in the Las Vegas area, including at storage units rented with false identification documents, until the conspirators sold the stolen property and transported it to the innocent purchasers.
Some of the goods that the defendants unlawfully and fraudulent obtained were expensive watches made by Monte Blanc and Baume & Mercier, tool kits, and televisions. They allegedly used counterfeit checks drawn on Bank of America, Sun West Bank, Nevada Federal Credit Union, Silver State Bank, and Silver State Schools Credit Union, and false driver's licenses, identification cards, and birth certificates from Nevada and Colorado.
The Indictment states that the Government intends to seek forfeiture of any properties of the defendants up to $3.9 million, including the contents of a residence at 6706 Pyracantha Glen Court and storage unit at 3290 North Rancho Drive in Las Vegas, the contents of several bank accounts, a boat, and several vehicles.
The case was investigated by the Southwestern Identity Theft and Fraud Task Force (SWIFT), comprised of representatives of the United States Secret Service, United States Postal Inspection Service, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, and Henderson Police Department. Other agencies assisting in the investigation are the Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General and U.S. Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kimberly Frayn.
The public is reminded that an indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.