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Vote for Me

Identity thieves are both inventive and knowledgeable of the times. During a recent period when many political organizations were busy encouraging and assisting people in registering to vote, identity thieves were also being heard from. In Midway, Florida, identity thieves posing as members of legitimate political organizations went door to door pretending to assist residents in registering to vote, but were actually gathering personal information such as Social Security numbers to use for identity theft.

Stories and Warnings: Enterprising Inmates

Although it certainly does not qualify as rehabilitation, the conviction in 2003 of James Sabatinoof wire fraud does show that some prison inmates are doing more with their time than just sitting around watching television. James Sabatino was serving a twenty-seven month sentence for threatening federal prosecutors when he managed to steal the identities of a number of prominent business executives and use the information gathered through these identity thefts to purchase close to a million dollars worth of goods and services, all the while serving his prison sentence. It takes time to steal that much stuff, and Sabatino spent about eight hours a day on the phone committing his crimes. During the course of one month alone, Sabatino placed a thousand telephone calls from his cell (I expect he used a cell phone—all puns intended). In fact, Sabatino used his cell phone to order more cell phones from Nextel using the identity of a Sony Pictures Entertainment executive. The phones were sent to a phony Sony address (try saying that out loud) that in actuality was a Federal Express office where an accomplice retrieved the phones. Sabatino's ultimate undoing began when an alert executive at Sony,Jack Kindberg, received invoices for the purchase of thirty cell phones he had never ordered. Corporate security eventually traced the thievery to James Sabatino, who pleaded guilty to wire fraud and was sentenced to more than eleven years in prison. Maybe Sony Pictures will make a movie out of his story.



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