Philippines National Charged In Scheme To Steal Identities Of High-Profile Victims And Engage In Credit Card And Bank Fraud
NEWARK, N.J. – A resident of the Philippines has been charged in connection with a large-scale and sophisticated identity theft scheme targeting high-profile victims, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced today.
Peter Locsin, 35, of Talisay City, Philippines, was indicted by a federal grand jury on one count of bank fraud conspiracy and two counts of aggravated identity theft. The indictment was returned May 10, 2016, and unsealed today. The case is assigned to U.S. District Judge John M. Vasquez.
According to documents filed in this case:
Locsin allegedly conspired with others to defraud banks and credit card companies by compromising accounts held at those institutions by certain individuals, usually well-known or celebrity account-holders. Locsin and others first compromised personal identifying information (PII) – including names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, address history, and work history. Locsin and his conspirators fraudulently accessed the individual accounts through websites or other online means, as well as through telephone calls.
Locsin and his conspirators used those accounts to make, or attempt to make, wire transfers of funds, order merchandise, order emergency replacement cards, add supplemental cardholders to accounts, or change addresses related to those accounts – none of which was authorized by the account-holders.
The count of bank fraud conspiracy carries a maximum potential penalty of 30 years in prison, and the counts of aggravated identity theft each carry a maximum potential penalty of two years in prison.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Timothy Gallagher in Newark, with the investigation leading to the indictment.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Zach Intrater, Deputy Chief of the of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Economic Crimes Unit in Newark.
The charges and allegations contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.