Feds charge five in international ID theft ring targeting military members, veterans

Feds charge five in international ID theft ring targeting military members, veterans
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Five men have been charged for allegedly taking part in an international identity theft scheme aimed at stealing millions of dollars from military members and veterans, according to a 14-count federal indictment unsealed this week in Texas.

Authorities said the five men coordinated to steal personal information from thousands of military members and veterans. The men were based in the Philippines and the U.S. as part of a scheme that dates back to 2014, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said this week

The defendents — Robert Wayne Boling Jr., Fredrick Brown, Trorice Crawford, Allan Albert Kerr, and Jongmin Seok — have been charged with multiple counts of conspiracy, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft as the alleged leaders of the scam.

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Authorities say Brown allegedly stole thousands of military members' personal identifying information, including birth dates, Social Security numbers and Department of Defense identification numbers, in 2014 when he worked at a U.S. Army installation.

Brown allegedly passed that information to Boling, Kerr and Seok, who allegedly used the stolen information to compromise a Department of Defense portal, granting them access to the benefits information, the DOJ said.

Prosecutors allege that Boling then worked with Crawford to recruit individuals who would accept the deposit of stolen funds — including millions from military members' bank accounts and veteran’s benefit payments — into their bank accounts and then send money through international wire remittance services.

Boling, Brown and Crawford are U.S. citizens, while Kerr is Australian and Seok is South Korean, according to the Justice Department.

“The crimes charged today are reprehensible and will not be tolerated by the Department of Justice,” Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrGOP signals unease with Barr's gun plan NRA says Trump administration memo a 'non-starter' Sinema touts bipartisan record as Arizona Democrats plan censure vote MORE said in a statement. “These defendants are alleged to have illegally defrauded some of America’s most honorable citizens, our elderly and disabled veterans and service members.”