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Seven stole more than $1.7 million using inmate IDs

Sunday, February 9, 2003

Associated Press

TAMPA Seven people were indicted Friday on charges they used federal court records to steal identities of prisoners and then used the inmates' credit cards and bank accounts to steal more than $1.7 million in goods and services.

A grand jury in Tampa returned a 46-count indictment against Carl H. Alpert, 45, of Orlando; Jennifer A. Alpert, 30, of Lake Mary; Christopher L. Alpert, 20, of Nashville, Tenn.; Leslie B. Barnes, 32, of Orlando; Lawrence S. Smith, 45, of Orlando; Michael A. Buky, 24, of Lake Mary; and Jason W. Residence, 18, of Nashville.

They are charged with conspiracy to commit credit card fraud, bank fraud, mail fraud and identify theft, said Paul Perez, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Florida.

The indictment alleges that between April 1999 and Friday, the defendants used the U.S. District Court's PACER system and other means to acquire biographical and credit information for prisoners.

PACER, which stands for Public Access to Court Electronic Records, is part of the administrative office of the U.S. courts.

Prosecutors say the defendants identified inmates' existing credit card and bank accounts and misused them. They also opened new accounts in the prisoners' names. They used the accounts to obtain cash and property totaling more than $1.7 million.

According to the indictment, at least 34 prisoners and 20 financial institutions were victimized by the scam.

Naples Daily News


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