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Milwaukee ID theft ring allegedly took bills from mailboxes

Milwaukee residents are cautioned not to leave outgoing mail in their mailboxes for an extended period of time, especially overnight. Postal inspectors apprehended a man believed to be the leader of an identity theft ring. Members of the ring allegedly opened mailboxes, took outgoing mail that had been placed in the box for pickup, and used the information found within to steal the identities of consumers.

Investigators for the postal inspectors spent many years seeking evidence that implicated a person they believed to be involved in the ring. Eventually, they were able to search his home. The suspect was charged with committing two white collar crimes and was found guilty of forgery. He will serve four years of imprisonment.

It is alleged that members of the ring were able to obtain approximately $100,000 in this manner. Police believe that there were approximately 30 people whose identities were misappropriated by members of the ring. Bills mailed to a company for payment may include credit card numbers or bank account numbers with routing numbers. Either can then be used to take money from the account holders without their knowledge or consent.

Theft of mail is a federal crime that may be charged in addition to state or federal forgery or theft charges. People in Wisconsin who have been charged with violation of federal law may benefit from speaking with a criminal defense attorneys to devise strategies for defending against the allegations. Lawyers may be able to challenge the admissibility of evidence, negotiate pretrial release or otherwise ensure that the accused person's constitutional rights be preserved through the process.

Source: Fox6Now.com, "Contact 6: Con men stealing identifies from mailboxes," Katrina Cravy, March 26, 2013

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