MCSO arrests 24 janitorial company employees in identity theft case

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX -- Maricopa County sheriff's deputies have arrested 24 employees of a Phoenix-based janitorial business for suspected identity theft.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio said his office began investigating Pro-Serv after deputies received information that more than 100 workers may have gained employment through the use of falsified documents.

Research by deputies confirmed that 120 employees used false identification to gain employment at the company, which employs hundreds of workers valleywide. Arpaio said some also used false IDs to purchase cars and homes and open credit card accounts.

Arpaio said that 23 of the 24 employees arrested are in the country illegally.

Deputies served a search warrant on the company's headquarters on Aug. 8 and took four suspects into custody.

Since then, Arpaio said his deputies and posse volunteers have continued to pursue and research information concerning the whereabouts of other suspects in the case. By late last week, they had located and arrested 20 more suspects.

Deputies have identified 12 victims and have notified them of the crime.

"My commitment to this community is to continue an aggressive pursuit of suspects involved in ID theft and forgery including in the workplace," Arpaio said in a news release. "This is a serious violation of the law with often devastating consequences to its victims. Crimes involving ID theft deserve attention and I will continue to enforce these state laws."

Arpaio said that the investigation is continuing.

This was MCSO's 74th criminal employment operation.