Feds Bust Tijuana-based Identity Theft Ring
Two Defendants Accused Of Hacking Into Thousands Of Brokerage Accounts And Stealing More Than $100,000
SAN DIEGO – Two men are charged in indictments unsealed this week with hacking into the computer servers of a major U.S. mortgage broker to steal personal information and use it to siphon funds from the brokerage accounts of thousands of victims.
Jason Ray Bailey and Victor Alejandro Fernandez were charged in a two-count indictment with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and computer hacking. Bailey was arraigned today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jan Adler; Fernandez was arraigned on Wednesday.
According to charging documents, both men are part of a Tijuana-based conspiracy that hacked the computer servers of a U.S mortgage broker and obtained mortgage applications containing customers’ personal identification information such as names, dates of birth, social security numbers, addresses, assets, tax information and driver’s licenses.
Approximately 4,200 customers had their information stolen between December 2012 and June 2013 and the conspiracy dates back to July 2011, the charging documents say.
Members of the conspiracy used victims’ stolen information to impersonate the mortgage customers, open credit lines in their names, and steal their assets, according to the charging documents. For example, members of the conspiracy identified multiple victims’ brokerage accounts and fraudulently took control of the accounts by first calling the brokerage companies and providing the victims’ personal identification information, and then changing the victims’ passwords and contact information. Once the defendants gained control of the accounts, members of the conspiracy allegedly wired funds from the victims’ brokerage accounts to coconspirators’ U.S. bank accounts in the San Diego and Calexico areas. Several of these wires were over $20,000 and $30,000 each.
Bailey’s detention hearing was scheduled for March 4, 2014 at 3 p.m. and Fernandez’s detention hearing was scheduled for March 6, 2014 at 2:45 p.m. Both defendants are scheduled for a motion hearing and trial setting conference before U.S. District Judge Gonzalo P. Curial on April 11, 2014 at 10:30 a.m.
|DEFENDANT||Case No. 14CR0277-GPC|
Jason Ray Bailey
|Age: 38||Chula Vista, CA|
|Victor Alejandro Fernandez||Age: 38||Mammoth Lakes, CA|
Count 1: Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud – Title 18, U.S.C., Section 1349
Count 2: Computer Hacking – Title 18, U.S.C., Sections 1030 (a) (4) and (c) (3) (A)
Federal Bureau of Investigation
*Indictments and complaints are not evidence that the defendant committed the crime charged. All defendants are presumed innocent until the United States meets its burden in court of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.