DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – Eleven people have been charged with running identity theft and credit card fraud schemes in southeastern Michigan.
Angela Patton, of Belleville, is accused of sharing Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan subscribers’ personal information with people who then used it to apply for credit cards. Investigators say Patton and the 10 others accused in the scheme stole information belonging to more than 5,500 policy holders from the company’s information system.
Court records state three of the co-conspirators used counterfeit credit cards to purchase more than $742,000 worth of merchandise from Sam’s Club.
Co-conspirators were arrested in Texas, Ohio and Michigan in possession of BCBSM screenshots coming from Patton’s work computer, as well as counterfeit identification cards and credit cards in the names of individual subscribers whose personal information was included in those screenshots, authorities said.
“An individual’s personal information has significant value on the black market, which is why the threat of data breaches and identity theft remain at an all-time high,” Marlon Miller, Homeland Security Investigations special agent in charge, said in a statement. “Over the last decade, we’ve seen a steady increase in crimes like this which is why HSI continues to prioritize and increase the quality and complexity of our investigative efforts to combat them.”
Indicted for multiple counts of identity theft-related crimes were:
Angela Denise Patton, 47, Belleville, MI
Sam Oscar Patton, 47, Dearborn, MI
Dontez Patton, 23, Woodhaven, MI
Johnathon Weston, 24, Detroit, MI
Charlie Smith, 47, Detroit, MI
Thomas Turner, Sr., 47, Detroit, MI
Aramona Coleman, 56, Southfield, MI
Tynekwa Hill, 26, Pontiac, MI
Jeffrey Morton, 41, Oak Park, MI
Verdell Kennedy, 45, Detroit, MI
Raymond Thomas, 40, Oak Park, MI
If policy holders notice any inappropriate activity on their Explanation of Benefits statements, contact the companies’ Anti-Fraud Hotline at 1-800-482-3787.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Abed Hammoud with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan in Detroit.
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