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September 16, 2009

Houston police bust major identity theft ring

Houston police showed up at the rented office of Robert Lee Lyles with a search warrant and caught him "red handed" in the process of printing a counterfeit check and a fake Texas driver's license.  Talk about a good time to hit "control alt delete"!  Lyles is allegedly the mastermind behind a major identity theft ring that has victimized over 450 people and over 80 businesses across 25 states.  Lyles is believed to have had a large network of people working for him.  The scheme allegedly included the stealing of victims' personal checks then looking up their driver's license numbers in an online database.  Identity thieves in the ring would then add their pictures to high quality fake Texas driver's licenses bearing the victims' names and other personal information.  They then used the fake ids to buy things with counterfeit checks.

The police seized pictures of 191 identity thieves that were ready to be coupled with the fake drivers' licenses.  Police are now looking for these 191 people to arrest them too.

Lyles was charged with engaging in organized criminal activity, a first degree felony. 

Also arrested and charged with engaging in organized criminal activity were William Douglas Jackson, Jr. and Derald Lane Dresso.  Finally, Evelyn Dixon was also arrested.  She is alledged to be Lyles' "runner" - i.e. the person who took the fake IDs to the identity thieves that did not want to venture to Lyles' office.
Lyles, Dress and Jackson are being held without bail.  Dixon is being held on $50,000 bail.

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