Dozens held, sought for massive ID theft schemes

Las Vegas defendant wanted: Sedrak Movsesyan

Dozens held, sought for massive ID theft schemes

CREATED Sep. 26, 2013

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Federal authorities have arrested nearly two dozen people in connection with tax and bank fraud schemes that used foreign visitors to steal thousands of identities and netted $7 million.

Federal officials say 22 people were arrested Thursday in San Diego, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Maryland. Thirty-three others are being sought but most are believed to be out of the country.

Federal indictments claim that citizens from former Soviet bloc countries went to San Diego on visas where, working for criminal groups, they allegedly filed some 2,000 tax refunds using stolen identities.

Stolen IDs also allegedly were used to write $600,000 in bad checks to defraud Bank of America.

Some crooks also allegedly stole the IDs of wealthy Wells Fargo customers and sent impostors to withdraw money.

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