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October 13, 2011

Known Victims of Georgia Identity Theft Ring Total Nearly 9,000!

A Georgia identity theft ring has nearly 9,000 victims!  The current number of victims of the alleged identity theft ring centered in Suwanee, Georgia stands at 8,965 and includes people from Georgia to California.

Apparently, the identity theft ring ran a bogus tax preparation service that was submitting false tax returns for unknowing victims.  The scheme caused one victim, Jeanette Adams of Georgia, to get stuck with a $2400 tax bill.  A retired nurse, Adams struggled to keep a roof over her head and pay for her medicines while paying back the IRS for taxes she did not owe.  Unfortunately, no one would help her.  Only later did she find out she was a victim of identity theft.

Authorities discovered the identity theft ring when they served a search warrant on the home of Annette Ford of Suwanee, Georgia.  During their search, which was triggered by an investigation of some stolen checks, police found stacks of fraudulent tax returns, stolen checks and a legal pad containing handwritten notes of names, birth dates and Social Security numbers.

Ford has plead guilty in federal court.  Three others have also been charged.

I have seen more and more tax return identity theft over the last few years.  Unfortunately, there is usually no one to sue, since the debt rarely show up on the victim's credit reports.  The FCRA therefore is no help to those victims.  And the actual criminals usually are either never located or are judgment proof, making a civil suit against the criminals a waste of time.

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