2 accused of stealing identities of high-profile celebritiesPosted: Updated:
Federal authorities arrested two Hartford residents who are accused of taking the identities of high-profile celebrities in an effort to steal money from them to purchase high-priced items.
Following a five-year investigation, members of the Connecticut Financial Crimes Task Force and the United States Secret Service, along with the Hartford Police Department, executed a warrant at a residence in the 800 block of Capital Avenue on Thursday.
Jonathan Preston, 22, and Lumi Preston, 33, were arrested and face federal charges of wire fraud, bank fraud, credit card fraud, identity theft, counterfeiting and conspiracy.
The Prestons were "obtaining personal identifying information of several prominent individuals" by using the internet and other means, according to U.S. Department of Justice.
Then, the Prestons used that information to "pose as their victims" to access their credit card accounts.
In total, federal authorities believe the Prestons took more than $500,000, which was used to purchase "automobiles, Vespa scooters, jewelry and a limousine trip from Connecticut to Ohio."
Authorities seized a BMW 650i, which was rented with a fraudulent credit card for $16,000.
The Prestons are accused of making counterfeit money after several fake $50 bills were seized from the home, authorities said.
Inside the residence, authorities also found Jose Vasquez, 42, in possession of a "large quantity of marijuana and packaging material."
Vasquez was arrested and charged with drug factory, illegal possession and possession of drug paraphernalia.
The Prestons are expected to be arraigned in Hartford Federal Court on Friday.
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