According to the Glendale Police department, an identity theft and phony credit card manufacturing ring bust could have affected thousands of people. The department went on to say that the ring could result in millions of dollars in losses. The investigation that sparked the busting of the ring was launched when a man was arrested for having possession of re-encoded credit cards during a traffic stop. After officers found the re-encoded credit cards, they obtained a search warrant for a business that the man owned. There, they seized evidence of fake credit card manufacturing. Several arrests were made in connection with the ID theft operation.
The Los Angeles and Orange County Police Departments, the Los Angeles Counties' sheriff's departments, the California Attorney General's Office and the Secret Service all served search warrants across nine locations and made arrests at all locations. They seized credit cards, firearms, computer equipment and card skimmers when they conducted the bust. However, three people in connection with the ring have yet to be found.
Identity theft is a crime that carries strict consequences in many states. For example, people convicted of such crimes could end up having to serve prison sentences as well as having to pay thousands of dollars in fines and fees. Additionally, if the identity theft affected numerous people, it could be upgraded to a felony crime that could result in the defendant having to serve a federal prison sentence, if convicted.
Criminal defense attorneys might be able to help people who are charged with identity theft crimes fight their charges. A criminal defense attorney might be able to help them get their charges dismissed if the prosecution does not have sufficient evidence to prove that they were, in fact, guilty of knowingly committing identity fraud.
Source: NBC, "ID-Theft Ring May Have "Thousands of Victims"", Willian Avila and Gordon Tokumatsu, August 14, 2013