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ID theft bust in Brooklyn

Posted by CBS on 2004/12/05 | Views: 1554 |

ID theft bust in Brooklyn


New York police have taken down a huge identity theft ring in Brooklyn. More than $50,000 dollars worth of goods were obtained with the use of stolen credit card numbers found at a warehouse located at 1350 Ralph Avenue in Canarsie.

New York police have taken down a huge identity theft ring in Brooklyn. More than $50,000 dollars worth of goods were obtained with the use of stolen credit card numbers found at a warehouse located at 1350 Ralph Avenue in Canarsie.

Plice say they have never seen a scam this elaborate. There were ovens, safes, hardwood floors, sinks, generators and refrigerators. These were just some of the stolen items police unveiled at an elaborate identity theft and stolen good scam in Brooklyn.

"It's the biggest I've seen. I have never seen anything on this scale, " said Captain Mark Novak of the NYPD.

The suspect, 53-year-old Emeka Ukasoanya of Amityville, was arrested at his warehouse and charged with grand larceny and stolen property. Police say his warehouse had close to $200,000 thousand dollars worth of stolen goods. Detective Tony Shy made the arrest.

"He was a very intelligent man and very calm. He just said, 'It wasn't me. I didn't do anything," said Detective Tony Shy of the NYPD.

But police say Ukasoanya, who has been arrested three other times for similar offenses did plenty like opening false accounts in places like Lowe's and Home Depot. He also acquired extra credit cards from legitimate accounts of unsuspecting victims.

Investigators say the goods are shipped to Nigeria where they sell for three times their value on the black market. Police say he has three containers at sea headed for Nigeria. They are containers authorities are now trying to turn back.

Authorities also say a suitcase was Ukasoanya's toolkit containing the identities of more than 100 people from New York to Florida and California. One of his victims was from London. Paperwork with social security numbers were found, along with tax returns, cell phone records and utility bills. Investigators don't know how he obtained them but they are certain he had help. They believe this was a team effort.

Now, just two days into their investigation, officials say they've probably only scratched the surface in this case.

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