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Operation Big Skim catches three ID thieves

Posted: March 2, 2010 2:05 p.m.
Updated: March 3, 2010 1:52 p.m.
On Thursday, Feb. 25, 2010, members of the Southern California High Tech Task Force served three search warrants after arresting three prolific identity thieves as part of a four year investigation dubbed "Operation Big Skim."

During the operation, one suspect took off running. After a brief foot chase, the suspect was taken into custody. Immediately following the arrest, teams of investigators served residential search warrants in Lancaster, Los Angeles and Santa Clarita. Investigators seized expensive vehicles including a Porsche, Ferrari, BMW, and a Cadillac Escalade. In addition, more than $40,000 in cash, Bluetooth skimming devices, hundreds of counterfeit cards and personal profiles, computers and electronics, and cell phones were seized.

Since the onset of the investigation, investigators have confirmed more than 15,000 compromised accounts and more than a dozen gas station points of compromise. The estimated loss is nearly $3 million.

The search warrants and arrests are the result of a joint investigation by the Southern California High Tech Task Force, which includes personnel from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, FBI, Glendale Police Department, Los Angeles Police Department, and Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office. Investigators filed a total of 78 felony counts against the suspects. Bail was set at $2 million.


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