51 charged in Puerto Rico identity fraud case

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Associated Press

Posted on September 24, 2013 at 6:00 PM

Updated Tuesday, Sep 24 at 6:04 PM

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Authorities in Puerto Rico say 21 prison inmates and 30 other people have been charged with participating in an identity theft and drug-trafficking ring.

U.S. Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodriguez said Tuesday that the suspects had participated in an estimated $600,000 fraud scheme since 2010.

She says one inmate at a prison in the northern municipality of Bayamon would use a cellphone to call victims and financial institutions to obtain personal financial information. Rodriguez says the inmate used that information to transfer victims' funds to another account, which was used by the other suspects to pay off debts and finance drug smuggling.

Rodriguez says at least 26 victims were targeted.

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