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Federal Trade Commission Explained

Federal Trade Commission Explained

Federal Trade Commission Explained: Protecting Consumers and Promoting Competition

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is an independent agency of the United States government charged with protecting consumers from unfair and deceptive practices, promoting competition in the marketplace, and enforcing antitrust laws. In this article, we will provide a brief overview of the FTC, including its history, functions, and role in consumer protection and competition promotion.

History of the Federal Trade Commission

The FTC was established in 1914, following the passage of the Federal Trade Commission Act. Its creation was in response to growing concerns about unfair business practices, including false advertising, monopolies, and price-fixing. The FTC’s original mandate was to prevent unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in commerce.

Over time, the FTC’s responsibilities have expanded to cover a wide range of consumer protection and competition issues, including privacy, data security, consumer fraud, and antitrust enforcement.

Functions of the Federal Trade Commission

The FTC has several key functions that help it fulfill its mandate to protect consumers and promote competition. These functions include:

1. Investigating and prosecuting unfair or deceptive business practices: The FTC has the authority to investigate and litigate against businesses that engage in practices that are unfair or deceptive to consumers, such as false advertising, pyramid schemes, and other forms of fraud.

2. Enforcing antitrust laws: The FTC works to prevent monopolies and anti-competitive practices that harm consumers and stifle innovation. It has the authority to investigate and challenge mergers and acquisitions that may result in reduced competition.

3. Promoting consumer education and protection: The FTC provides consumers with information and resources to help them avoid scams and protect their privacy. Its consumer education efforts include publications, workshops, and online resources.

4. Protecting consumer privacy and data security: The FTC monitors businesses and organizations to ensure they are protecting consumers’ personal information and data. It investigates and takes action against data breaches and other security incidents that put consumers’ personal information at risk.

5. Providing guidance to businesses: The FTC provides guidance to businesses on how to comply with consumer protection and antitrust laws. It also works with industry groups and other stakeholders to develop best practices and standards to promote competition and protect consumers.

Role of the Federal Trade Commission in Consumer Protection and Promoting Competition

The FTC plays a critical role in protecting consumers and promoting competition in the United States. Its activities help to ensure that businesses operate fairly and transparently, that consumers receive accurate information about products and services, and that competition is not stifled by anti-competitive practices.

The FTC’s consumer protection activities include investigating and prosecuting fraud, and providing consumers with resources and education to help them avoid scams and protect their privacy. Its competition promotion activities include enforcing antitrust laws, monitoring mergers and acquisitions, and promoting best practices and standards to encourage competition.

In Conclusion

The Federal Trade Commission is an essential agency for promoting consumer protection and competition in the United States. Its mission to prevent unfair and deceptive business practices, enforce antitrust laws, and educate consumers is critical for ensuring a fair and transparent marketplace. As consumers and citizens, it is essential to understand the role and functions of the FTC, as it plays a vital role in safeguarding our rights and interests.

What is the Federal Trade Commission?

The Federal Trade Commission is an independent government agency of the United States. Established in 1914 by the Federal Trade Commission Act, the Federal Trade Commission maintains its principal mission of promoting consumer protection and preventing harmfully anti-competitive business practices.

The Federal Trade Commission Act was instituted by President Woodrow Wilson, in large part, to dissuade the presence of trusts, which acted as major political concerns during the Progressive Era. During modern times, the Federal Trade Commission Act is responsible towards delegating the enforcement of additional business regulation statutes. Since the agency’s inception, the Federal Trade Commission has enforced numerous provisions of various legislations to monitor situations revolving around antitrust statutes and consumer protection law.

The Federal Trade Commission is led by five commissioners who are first nominated by the President of the United States and subsequently elected or confirmed by the United States Senate. Under the Federal Trade Commission Act, regulations were instituted to ban uniform party representation of the elected commissioners; no more than three Commissioners may be of the same political party. A commissioner’s term in the agency lasts seven years and the terms are staggered so that in a given year only one Commissioner’s term will expire.

The Bureau of Consumer Protection: The Bureau of Consumer Protection’s primary responsibility is to protect consumers against deceptive or fraudulent acts in commerce. With written consent of the Federal Trade Commission, the Bureau of Consumer protection, through their legal professionals, enforce federal laws related to consumer affairs in addition to the rules promulgated by the Federal Trade Commission.

The functions of the Bureau of Consumer Protection regulates commerce and promotes fair business practices by conducting investigations, enforcing various actions, and providing consumer and business education to the fundamental players of commerce.

The Bureau of Consumer Protection will supply the various methods and functions to the following areas or concerns: financial products and practices, advertising and marketing, privacy and identity protection, telemarketing fraud, etc. Under the Federal Trade Commission Act, the confirmed Commissioner possesses the authority to bring actions in federal court through its own legal professionals. In matters of consumer protection, the Federal Trade Commission supports the United States Department of Justice.

The Bureau of Competition: The Bureau of Competition is the primary division of the Federal Trade Commission responsible for preventing and eliminating “anticompetitive” business practices. The Bureau of Competition achieves this through the enforcement of various antitrust laws, the investigation practices into non-merger business practices that may impede competition, and through conducting a review of proposed mergers.

Practice or non-merger situations that may be impeding competition include any merger, which involves agreements between direct competitors (horizontal restraints) and vertical restraints where agreements among businesses at various levels in the same industry are accomplished (agreements made between suppliers and commercial buyers).

Bureau of Economics: The Bureau of Economics was created to support the Bureau of Competition and Consumer Protection by providing knowledge and resources related to the economic impacts of the Federal Trade Commission’s operation and legislation.

Activities of the Federal Trade Commission

The Federal Trade Commission accomplishes its mission statement by conducting investigations that are brought to light by reports from businesses and consumers, congressional inquiries, reports in the media, and pre-merger notification filings. The investigations conducted by the FTC may pertain to an entire industry or a single company.

The primary issues that the FTC targets include, false advertising, other forms of fraud and deceptive practices that seek to take advantage of the consumer. The court system of the United States has identified three primary factors that must be considered in consumer unfairness cases: the practice either injures the consumer, violates an established public policy, and the act or transaction is unscrupulous and unethical at its core.

Stolen Credit Card Laws

Stolen Credit Card Laws: Understanding Your Rights and Responsibilities

Credit cards have become an essential part of our daily financial transactions. While they offer convenience and ease of use, they also come with the risk of theft. When a credit card is stolen, it can compromise the security of your personal and financial information. In such instances, stolen credit card laws come into play to protect your interests.

In this article, we will take a closer look at stolen credit card laws, including how they work, what your legal rights are, and what you should do if your credit card is stolen.

What are Stolen Credit Card Laws?

Stolen credit card laws are designed to protect consumers from credit card theft, fraud, and other forms of financial abuse. These laws provide a framework for consumers to report and deal with stolen credit cards, as well as outlining the consequences for those who engage in credit card-related crimes.

Under these laws, credit card theft is considered a serious criminal offense, and those found guilty can face severe legal penalties, including fines, imprisonment, and restitution.

As a victim of credit card theft, you have several legal rights that protect you from the consequences of the crime. These rights include:

o The right to dispute fraudulent charges: If you identify unauthorized charges on your credit card statement, you have the right to dispute them with your credit card company. This process allows you to get the money back that was spent without your authorization.

o The right to liability protection: Credit card theft is the responsibility of the credit card issuer, not the cardholder. This means that you are not liable for any unauthorized charges made on your stolen credit card.

0 The right to report the theft: You have the right to report the theft to your credit card company and local law enforcement. This allows you to prevent further unauthorized activity on your account and helps law enforcement track down the thief.

What Should You Do if Your Credit Card is Stolen?

If your credit card is stolen, it’s essential to act quickly to minimize any potential damage. Here are some steps you should take:

o Contact your credit card issuer immediately: The sooner you report the theft, the greater the chances of stopping any unauthorized charges.

o Freeze your account: You can ask your credit card issuer to freeze your account, preventing any further charges until the theft is resolved.

o Monitor your credit card statements: Reviewing your credit card statements regularly can help you identify any unauthorized transactions.

o File a police report: Reporting the theft to law enforcement helps you build a case against the thief and can assist in recovering your stolen credit card.

o Keep records of all transactions and communications related to the theft: Keeping track of all communications with your credit card issuer, law enforcement, and other parties involved can help protect your interests and ensure that the case is resolved quickly and efficiently.

In Conclusion

Stolen credit card laws are essential for protecting consumers from financial abuse and helping them recover from credit card theft. As a cardholder, knowing your rights and responsibilities under these laws can help you navigate the complex process of dealing with stolen credit cards more effectively. By taking prompt and decisive action in the event of theft, you can protect yourself from further harm and secure your financial future.

Identity Theft Explained

Identity Theft Explained

What is Identity Theft?

Identity Theft is definedcriminal act of fraudulentlyobtaining the personal information belonging to another individual, and subsequently assuming that person’sidentity without the expressed consent – this type of fraudulent representation can be facilitated in order to achieve a variety of outcomes.

Typically, an individual committing identity theft will utilize deceptive means in order to gain access to the personal and private information belonging to another individual; this can be done through wire fraud or the illegal entry into an individual’s personal records – once this information is obtained, the individual committing identity theft will typically pose as that individual, unlawfully acting in that person’s place in order to achieve economic gain.

Types of Identity Theft

Although the criminal means of Identity Theft can vary in nature and setting, a vast array of negative outcome – in the form of damage, theft, and loss – exist; due to the expansiveness of Identity Theft, the severity of the crime is oftentimes corollary to the severity of the latent consequence(s) – loss sustained as a result of Identity Theft can range from the misappropriation of monies to the unlawful attainment of documentation.

Identity Theft and Cyber Law

Many consider the most common form of Identity Theft to be facilitated through the useof virtual networks. In many cases, virtual networks – akin to a large majority of electronic communicative devices – reside within the jurisdiction of Cyber Law; additional means of electronic identity theft can include information technology networks, telecommunications, and the Internet:

o Online Identity theft can result in the illegal attainment of stolen property and goods acquired through an online commercial marketplace; this is also known as E-Commerce (electronic commerce).

o Purchase orders can be placed by individuals in possession of unlawful personal and financial information, while the victim will discover charges incurred for products and goods delivered elsewhere; in order to reduce the risk of capture, individuals well-versed in Identity Theft will request that the goods be shipped to anonymous, remote locations.

o The attainment of passwords

Identity Theft and Immigration Law

The facilitation of Identity Theft as a means to unlawfully attain illegal – albeit official – documentation is not uncommon. In lieu of engaging in the legal procedure of the adjustment of individual immigration status, criminal operations have taken to the illegal attainment of personal information under the ownership of a victim in order to submit fraudulent documentation. As a result, official – and oftentimes governmental – documentation can be acquired in such deceptive means; in a majority of cases, the victims will be unaware as to document and form requests unlawfully conducted in their name:

o Through the use of stolen – or immigration documentation attained by illicit means – individuals can fraudulently assume the identity of others in order to claim immigration status, adjust employment status, and gain access to unlawful financial accounts

o Stolen – or fraudulently attained immigration documentation – can pose a security threat, as well; without reputable identification, tabs and records cannot be adequately kept with regard to individuals leaving and entering the United States

Identity Theft Explained: Understanding the Risks and Prevention Measures

Identity theft is a serious crime in which someone obtains personal information about an individual and uses it for fraudulent purposes. Identity theft can have severe consequences, including financial loss, damage to credit, and loss of reputation. This article will explore the definition of identity theft, its types, and prevention measures.

What is Identity Theft?

Identity theft is the act of obtaining personal information about an individual, such as their name, address, social security number, or financial information, without their consent. Once the information is obtained, the thief will use the information to make purchases, obtain credit or loans, or commit other fraudulent acts.

Types of Identity Theft

1. Financial Identity Theft: Financial identity theft occurs when a thief uses someone’s financial information, such as a credit card number, to make purchases or withdraw money from accounts.

2. Driver’s License Identity Theft: Driver’s license identity theft involves a thief using someone’s driver’s license or identification card to commit identity fraud by opening a bank account, leasing a car, or carrying out other activities.

3. Medical Identity Theft: Medical identity theft is when a thief uses someone’s healthcare information to receive medical treatments or services.

4. Criminal Identity Theft: Criminal identity theft involves a thief using someone’s identity when they commit a crime, leaving the victim with potential legal consequences.

Prevention Measures

1. Monitor Financial Accounts: Regularly reviewing bank and credit card statements can help identify any unauthorized transactions.

2. Protect Personal Information: Be cautious when sharing personal information and use secure passwords when creating accounts.

3. Shred Documents: Shred or destroy any documents that contain personal information such as bank statements, receipts, and credit card statements before throwing them away.

4. Use Anti-Virus Software: Anti-virus software can help prevent hackers from stealing personal information from your computer.

5. Check Credit Reports: Regularly checking credit reports can help identify any errors or unauthorized activity.

6. Beware of Scams: Be wary of unsolicited emails or phone calls requesting personal information and verify the legitimacy of any requests.


Identity theft is a serious crime that can have severe consequences for victims. Financial, driver’s license, medical, and criminal identity theft are the four main types of identity theft. Identity theft prevention measures include monitoring financial accounts, protecting personal information, shredding documents, using anti-virus software, checking credit reports, and being cautious of scams. By taking steps to protect personal information and being aware of the risks of identity theft, individuals can reduce the risk of falling victim to identity theft and its consequences.

Two Power Armenian Men Sentenced for Fraud Scheme

Two Power Armenian Men Sentenced for Fraud Scheme

Two Powerful Armenian Men Sentenced for Fraud Scheme


On November 28, 2012, a significant legal case unfolded, leading to the sentencing of two influential Armenian men involved in a large-scale fraud scheme. This article delves into the background, investigation, trial, and sentencing of these individuals.

1. The Allegations

The case revolved around allegations of a sophisticated fraud scheme, with the accused individuals accused of orchestrating a complex financial fraud operation spanning multiple countries. Their actions were said to have defrauded numerous victims of substantial amounts of money.

2. The Investigation

The investigation into the alleged fraud scheme was extensive, involving law enforcement agencies and financial experts from multiple jurisdictions. The investigation revealed a network of financial transactions, shell companies, and complex money laundering efforts designed to conceal the ill-gotten gains.

3. The Legal Process

The legal process involved the arrest and subsequent trial of the two accused individuals. Legal authorities worked tirelessly to build a case against them, bringing forth evidence that included financial records, witness testimonies, and digital traces of their fraudulent activities.

4. The Trial

The trial of the two powerful Armenian men was closely watched by legal experts, the media, and the public. The prosecution presented a compelling case, highlighting the scale and sophistication of the fraud scheme. The accused individuals had a legal defense team that sought to challenge the evidence and provide an alternative narrative.

5. Verdict and Sentencing

The culmination of the trial was the verdict and subsequent sentencing. The court found the two individuals guilty of their involvement in the fraud scheme, concluding that they had exploited financial systems and defrauded innocent victims. As a result, they were sentenced to significant prison terms and ordered to pay restitution to the victims.

6. Impact and Implications

The sentencing of these powerful Armenian men had several significant implications:

a. Deterrence: The case sent a strong message that even individuals with considerable influence and resources would be held accountable for their fraudulent actions.

b. Justice for Victims: The victims of the fraud scheme finally received justice through the legal process, with the restitution helping to recover some of their losses.

c. Legal Precedent: The case established a legal precedent for dealing with complex financial fraud schemes, offering guidance for future investigations and prosecutions.

d. Strengthening Legal Systems: The successful resolution of this case demonstrated the effectiveness of legal systems in combating financial crimes and protecting the interests of the public.


The sentencing of the two powerful Armenian men in the 2012 fraud scheme case was a significant legal milestone. It showcased the determination of legal authorities to bring perpetrators of financial fraud to justice, regardless of their influence or resources. This case served as a reminder that the rule of law prevails, and those who engage in fraudulent activities will ultimately be held accountable for their actions.

On November 28, 2012, the US Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California stated that Angus Brown, aka “Homicide,” and Arman Sharopetrosian, aka “Horse,” received additional prison sentences for operating a identity theft scheme out of the Avenal State Prison.

The two men and other Armenian Power gang members worked with African-American street gang members and bribed co-conspirators at banks in order to gain control of bank accounts.  The scheme caused at least $8 million in losses.

United States District Judge David O. Carter said it was one of the most sophisticated fraud schemes he’s seen in his time as a judge.

Angus Brown was serving a prison term for identity theft at the time of his arrest, and Arman Sharopetrosian was serving a 10-year sentence for shooting at a car and carrying a concealed weapon.

During the scheme, Brown and Sharopetrosian were able to steal bank information from mostly elderly victims and forged signatures of the victims.  Checks worth large amounts of money were then deposited in bank accounts set up the conspirators.  Recruited bank employees identified accounts and victims that were less likely to notice their identities were stolen.

During the case, prosecutors stated: “[The defendants’] express purpose was to target bank customers with large-value accounts who were not proficient in checking up on their accounts via the Internet [and] sought to use that information to plunder the victims’ life savings.”

Sharopetrosian was found guilty of bank fraud conspiracy, four counts of bank fraud, and seven counts of aggravated identity fraud.  Brown pleaded guilty to bank fraud conspiracy, bank fraud, and 17 counts of aggravated identity theft.

20 defendants were named in the indictment, and most of the defendants will be sentenced in the next couple of months.  Some of the defendants have already received 51 months in prison.

Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation

Mexican National Participated in Identity Trafficking Scheme

Mexican National Participated in Identity Trafficking Scheme

Mexican National Participated in Identity Trafficking Scheme

A Mexican national was recently indicted for participating in an identity trafficking scheme. The scheme involved trafficking the identities of US citizens to other individuals living in the country illegally. This case highlights the severity of identity theft and the importance of safeguarding personal information.

The Allegations

The man is alleged to have been part of a scheme to sell the personal information of US citizens to individuals living in the country illegally. The scheme involved creating fake documents and using the stolen identities to obtain unauthorized employment and government benefits. The man allegedly profited from the scheme by receiving a cut of the proceeds from the sale of the stolen identities.

The Impact of Identity Trafficking

Identity trafficking has severe consequences for the victims whose identities are stolen. Identity theft can lead to financial ruin, loss of privacy, and damage to credit ratings. It is a type of crime that often goes undetected until it is too late, leaving victims with a lasting impact.

The Need for Identity Protection

Identity protection is critical for preventing identity theft and related crimes. Individuals must take measures to safeguard their personal and financial information, including using strong passwords, monitoring credit reports, and being cautious about sharing personal information online.

Law Enforcement Response

The man involved in the case was indicted on multiple counts related to identity trafficking. If convicted, he could face significant fines and a lengthy term of imprisonment. The case is an example of how law enforcement agencies are working to uncover and prosecute identity thieves and reduce the harm caused to innocent victims.

Preventing Identity Trafficking

To prevent identity trafficking, individuals and organizations must take robust measures to prevent data breaches and protect personal information. This includes implementing strict data protection policies, limiting employee access to sensitive information, and adopting encryption protocols to secure electronic data.


The case of the Mexican national involved in an identity trafficking scheme highlights the severity of identity theft and the importance of safeguarding personal information. Identity theft has severe consequences for victims and can lead to financial ruin and lasting damage to credit ratings. It is critical that individuals take measures to protect their personal and financial information, and that law enforcement agencies work to uncover and prosecute identity thieves to stop them from causing harm. By implementing robust identity protection measures, individuals and organizations can reduce their risk of becoming a victim of identity theft.

On November 26, 2012, the Department of Justice announced that Jose Sergio Garcia-Ramirez from Rockford, Illinois, received 58 months in prison for trafficking stolen identities and other identifying documents.  He was ordered to forfeit $35,900, and he will be removed from the United States after he serves time in prison.

According to court documents, individuals in the Savarona area of Caguas, Puerto Rico were able to obtain Puerto Rican identities and other identifying documents.  Conspirators also operated in the United States and sold social security cards and Puerto Rican birth certificates for $700 to $2,500.

The brokers asked for the identities from the Savarona suppliers by using coded telephone calls and text messages.  The calls initiated money transfers after which documents were sent by U.S. mail.

Court documents further indicate that some of the brokers used Puerto Rican identities to use in part with their trafficking operation as well.  Most of the customers, however, used the Puerto Rican identities to obtain state driver’s licenses.  Some of the customers went as far as committing financial fraud with the identities.

The Justice Department states that brokers in the scheme were operating in at least the following areas:

•    Rockford, IL
•    DeKalb, IL
•    Aurora, IL
•    Seymour, IN
•    Columbus, IN
•    Indianapolis, IN
•    Hartford, CT
•    Clewistown, FL
•    Lilburn, GA
•    Norcross, GA
•    Salisbury, MD
•    Columbus, OH
•    Fairfield, OH
•    Dorchester, MA
•    Lawrence, MA
•    Salem, MA
•    Worcester, MA
•    Grand Rapids, MI
•    Nebraska City, NE
•    Elizabeth, NJ
•    Burlington, NC
•    Hickory, NC
•    Hazleton, PA
•    Philadelphia, PA
•    Houston, TX
•    Abingdon, VA
•    Albertville, AL
•    Providence, RI

53 people have been charged for participating in the identity trafficking scheme, and 18 of the defendants have pleaded guilty so far.

Source: Department of Justice

Maryland Man Stole Identities of Mental Health Patients

Maryland Man Stole Identities of Mental Health Patients

Maryland Man Stole Identities of Mental Health Patients

In Maryland, a man was recently arrested and charged with stealing the identities of mental health patients. The man is alleged to have obtained personal information from medical records and used it to fraudulently obtain credit cards and make unauthorized purchases. This case highlights the importance of safeguarding personal information and the potential consequences of data breaches in the healthcare industry.

The Allegations

The man allegedly stole the identities of at least 26 patients from a healthcare facility where he had worked as a counselor. He then used this information to apply for credit cards and loans, which he used to make purchases and withdraw cash. The man is alleged to have stolen over $12,000 from the victim’s accounts.

The Consequences of Identity Theft

Identity theft can have severe consequences, particularly for individuals with mental health issues who may not have the resources or support to address the issue. Victims of identity theft can suffer financially and emotionally, and it can take years to repair the damages done to their credit rating and finances.

The Importance of Data Protection

The case highlights the need for strict data protection measures in the healthcare industry. Medical facilities must take measures to protect sensitive personal information, such as patients’ medical records, from unauthorized access and use. This includes implementing robust access controls, ensuring staff are properly trained on data security, and regularly reviewing and updating data protection policies.

Law Enforcement Response

The man involved in this case was arrested and charged with multiple counts of identity theft, fraud, and related crimes. If convicted, he could face significant fines, restitution, and time in prison.

Preventing Identity Theft

To prevent identity theft, individuals can take several steps, such as reviewing financial statements regularly, monitoring credit reports, and ensuring that personal information is stored securely. It is also important to report suspicious activity to the relevant authorities promptly.


The case of the Maryland man who stole the identities of mental health patients highlights the serious consequences of identity theft. The healthcare industry must take measures to prevent data breaches, and individuals must remain vigilant to protect their personal information. Law enforcement agencies must continue to work to bring identity thieves to justice and ensure that victims are appropriately compensated and protected from further harm.

On November 8, 2012, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) reported the Christopher Andre Devine from Philadelphia pleaded guilty to bank fraud and aggravated identity theft.  The stolen identities were used to open fake bank accounts.

During the plea agreement, Devine and co-defendants admitted that they opened bank accounts in order to get check cards.  The co-conspirators would then deposit fraudulent checks into the accounts and withdraw cash from ATM machines.  The co-defendants are Quanishia Williamson-Ross and Lenee E. Williamson.

Devine admitted that he stole identities from 21 people in an adult residential program for mental needs after he purchased the information from an employee with the program.  Devine used this information to open checking accounts over the telephone and internet.

Devine and the co-defendants bought items from restaurants, drug stores, grocery stores, convenience stores, gas stations, and numerous other businesses with the check cards.  They also used the check card to pay for utilities like cable and cell phones.

Devine was caught in December of 2011 when authorities searched a van and two different residences occupied by the defendants.  They found hundreds of credit cards, debit cards, social security cards, driver’s licenses, and personal information like names, addresses, credit information, and social security numbers.

About 300 people had their identities stolen in all, and 21 were from the mental health program.  There were a total of 73 fraudulent bank accounts opened.

Each of the defendants faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison for the bank fraud and two years in prison for the aggravated identity theft.

The investigation was led by ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Baltimore, the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office, the IRS’s Criminal Investigations, and the Social Security Administration in Philadelphia.  The enforcement was part of President Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force.

Source: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

40 Defendants, 20 Cases: Florida Identity Theft Widespread

40 Defendants, 20 Cases: Florida Identity Theft Widespread

40 Defendants, 20 Cases: Florida Identity Theft Widespread

Identity theft is a growing concern across the US, and Florida has been hit particularly hard. In recent years, law enforcement agencies have tackled large and widespread identity theft rings in the state, leading to the arrest and prosecution of several offenders. In one instance, 40 defendants were involved in 20 cases of identity theft in Florida.

The Cases

The cases involved a wide range of identity theft schemes, including credit card fraud, identity theft for tax fraud, and other financial crimes. The offenders used a variety of methods to steal personal information, including phishing scams, skimming devices, and hacking into computer networks and databases.

Law Enforcement Response

The investigations into the identity theft cases were complex and required significant resources from the law enforcement agencies involved. Law enforcement agencies collaborated across the state, pooling their resources and knowledge to bring down the offenders.

Prosecutions and Sentencing

The 40 defendants involved in the identity theft cases were prosecuted and found guilty of various charges ranging from identity theft to conspiracy to commit financial fraud. The offenders were sentenced to varying sentences ranging from probation to several years in prison.

Victims of Identity Theft

Identity theft can have a significant impact on the lives of the victims. In these cases, many victims were left with damaged credit ratings, lost money, and hours of time spent repairing the damages caused by the offenders. It is crucial to remain vigilant and take steps to safeguard personal information to reduce the risk of identity theft.

Preventing Identity Theft

To reduce the risk of identity theft, it is essential to take several precautions. Keeping personal information secure, using strong passwords, avoiding phishing scams, and regularly monitoring financial accounts for suspicious activity can all help reduce the risk of becoming a victim of identity theft.


Identity theft remains a significant threat to individuals and organizations across the US. The 40 defendants involved in the 20 cases of identity theft in Florida highlight the seriousness of the issue and the need for law enforcement agencies to work together to combat the problem. By taking steps to protect personal information and remaining vigilant, individuals can help reduce the risk of becoming a victim of identity theft.

On October 10, 2012, the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida announced that 40 defendants were charged in 20 different cases for identity theft that resulted in millions of dollars of fraudulent tax filings.

The Federal Trade Commission declares that Florida had the highest identity theft rate in 2011.  The FTC reports that Miami is where most of the identity thefts occur in Florida.  For every 100,000 residents in the United States, about 178 complaints are filed for identity theft.  Miami makes this figure look small.  For every 100,000 residents in Miami, there are about 324.1 complaints.

The U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) also announces that Florida has the highest rate of tax refund fraud in the United States.  TIGTA estimates that about 74,496 fraudulent returns were filed in Miami alone and caused about $280 million in fake refunds.  The per capita of false returns in Miami is 46 times higher than the national average, and the epidemic is growing.  According to TIGTA, the IRS is projected to issue about $21 billion in fraudulent tax refunds in the next five years.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida recently created the Identity Theft Tax Fraud Strike Force to combat the epidemic.  The Strike Force is made up of multiple agencies and police departments around the Miami area.

U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer stated, “So far this year, we have charged a total of 79 individuals responsible for almost $40 million in fraudulent tax refunds obtained through identity theft.  The cases being investigated and prosecuted include victims from all walks of life, including police officers, potential U.S. Marine recruits, members of the Armed Forces, holocaust survivors, school children, hospital patients, the elderly and infirm, incarcerated prisoners, and even the dead.”

Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation

Police Get Lucky Catching Repeat Identity Theft Offender

Police Get Lucky Catching Repeat Identity Theft Offender

Police Get Lucky Catching Repeat Identity Theft Offender

An identity theft offender was caught on October 16th, 2012, thanks to the quick actions of the police. The offender had been involved in multiple identity theft cases and had been on the run for some time. The police finally caught up with him and were able to bring him to justice.

Identity Theft Cases

The identity theft offender had been involved in multiple identity theft cases, stealing people’s personal information and using it to make fraudulent purchases. The victims of these crimes suffered losses amounting to thousands of dollars. The police had been on his trail for some time, but he had managed to evade them until October 16th, 2012.

Police Gets Lucky Break

The police were on patrol when they spotted the offender’s car. They followed him and observed him throwing out some papers from his car window. The police retrieved the papers and found that they contained the personal information of several people. The police then followed the offender and pulled him over.

Arrest and Conviction

The police arrested the offender and charged him with multiple counts of identity theft and fraud. The offender was convicted and sentenced to several years in prison. The victims of his crimes were reimbursed for their losses.

Lessons Learned

This case highlights the importance of being vigilant about personal information and protecting it from identity theft. The victims of the offender’s crimes suffered significant financial losses and had to endure long processes to rectify the damages to their credit history. It also shows the importance of the swift action of the police in catching identity thieves.


Identity theft is a growing problem that affects millions of people worldwide. The police play a vital role in catching identity theft offenders, and this case is an excellent example of their hard work and dedication. It is essential to be vigilant about personal information and take steps to protect against identity theft. By working together, we can prevent identity theft and ensure that offenders are brought to justice.

On October 16, 2012, the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon announced that Tigran Khachatrian of Glendale, California, was sentenced to 70 months in federal prison for a huge identity theft scheme as well as for the possession of counterfeit devices.  The sentencing stems from a routine traffic stop that occurred in December of 2010.

During the traffic stop, an Oregon State Trooper stopped Khachatrian and the co-defendant, Arsen Dabaghyan, on Interstate 5 around the Medford area.  They state trooper asked to search the car, and the two defendants consented to the search.  The state trooper found a total of 139 credit cards, 123 gift cards, and false forms of identification.  Additionally, the state trooper found three laptop computers, four cell phones, an MSP digital card reader, a GPS device, a digital camera, and instructions for keypad configurations at gas stations in California and Washington.

After an investigation by the Southern Oregon High-Tech Crimes Task Force, it was determined that one of the laptops had software to create credit cards and debits cards.  Another program had the ability to pull information from skimmed bank cards.

The FBI led a further investigation and found that the defendants placed skimming devices at multiple gas stations in the state of Washington in order to steal account information from the victims.  The defendants were able to obtain the credit card numbers and card holder information and then create duplicate credit cards with their computer.

Khachatrian had multiple theft convictions in 1986.  He also had charges for identity theft, forgery and more in 2003.  After he serves his 70 months in federal prison, Khachatrian will receive three years of supervised release.  He is also ordered to pay restitution and forfeit all of the equipment that was used during the crimes.

Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation

Barbados National Claimed $120M in False Tax Refunds

Barbados National Claimed $120M in False Tax Refunds

Barbados National Claimed $120M in False Tax Refunds

In what is believed to be one of the largest tax fraud cases in Barbados’ history, a national was recently arrested for allegedly claiming $120 million in false tax refunds. This case highlights the need for robust tax compliance systems and the potential consequences of tax fraud.

The Allegations

The man is alleged to have created fake invoices and purchase orders for non-existent goods and services as part of a scheme to claim false tax refunds. The scheme is believed to have been ongoing for several years, and the man allegedly defrauded the government of $120 million.

The Impact of Tax Fraud

Tax fraud has serious consequences for governments and taxpayers alike. Fraudulent claims result in reduced tax revenues, which can lead to cuts in public services, higher taxes for law-abiding citizens, and a lack of faith in the tax system.

The Importance of Tax Compliance

Tax compliance is critical for maintaining an effective tax system. Governments must implement measures to ensure that taxpayers are aware of the tax laws and regulations and are submitting accurate tax returns. This includes requiring taxpayers to keep accurate records, ensuring that tax returns are subject to appropriate scrutiny, and imposing penalties for non-compliance and fraudulent activity.

Law Enforcement Response

The man involved in the case was arrested and charged with multiple counts of fraud and money laundering. If convicted, he could face significant fines and a lengthy term of imprisonment. The case is an example of the importance of law enforcement agencies working to uncover and prosecute fraudsters to deter others from engaging in similar activity.

Preventing Tax Fraud

To prevent tax fraud, governments must implement robust tax compliance systems. This includes educating taxpayers about their obligations and the consequences of non-compliance, utilizing technology to detect fraudulent activity quickly, and imposing stiff penalties for fraudulent activity.


The case of the Barbados national who claimed $120 million in false tax refunds highlights the importance of robust tax compliance systems. Fraudulent activity has severe consequences for governments and taxpayers, and law enforcement agencies must work to uncover and prosecute fraudsters to deter others from engaging in similar activity. By implementing effective tax compliance measures, governments can ensure that taxpayers are aware of their obligations and are submitting accurate tax returns, leading to a fair and sustainable tax system.

On November 7, 2012, the Department of Justice reported that Andrew J Watts was sentenced to 114 months in prison by US District Judge Joan Gottschall in Chicago.  He was also ordered to pay $1.7 million in restitution for stealing identities and engaging in a federal income tax refund fraud scheme.  Watts is a Barbados national.

Court documents show that Watts filed the fraudulent federal income tax returns from 2007 to 2011.  He used the names of deceased taxpayers and forged their signatures to obtain the fraudulent refunds, and he even claimed himself as the deceased person’s representative in some cases.

In total, Watts filed more than 470 fraudulent federal income tax returns.  He is believed to have claimed about $120 million, and the Internal Revenue Service issued over $10 million in refunds.  In order to conceal the fraud, Watts instructed the IRS to send the refund checks to an electronic deposit or an address he controlled.

Kathryn Keneally, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Tax Division, stated: “While all taxpayers are victims when criminals file false tax returns using stolen identities, those who falsely use the names of deceased individuals add to the grief and burdens of their families.”

Watts pleaded guilty on July 10, 2012, and he pleaded to one count of aggravated identity theft and one count of mail fraud.

IRS-Criminal Investigation Chief Richard Weber noted: “IRS-Criminal Investigation has made investigating refund fraud and identity theft a top priority and we will vigorously pursue those who undermine the integrity of the U.S. tax system.  Individuals who commit refund fraud and identity theft of this magnitude deserve to be punished to the fullest extent of the law.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick J. King, Jr. with the Northern District of Illinois and Trial Attorney Michelle Petersen with the Department of Justice’s Tax Division were in charge of prosecution.

Source: U.S. Department of Justice

What You Need To Know About Hacking

What You Need To Know About Hacking

What You Need To Know About Hacking: A Comprehensive Guide

Hacking has become a widespread issue in today’s digital age. Cybercriminals are constantly trying to breach security systems and steal personal information from individuals and organizations. It is essential to understand what hacking is, how it works, and how to protect yourself from it.

What is Hacking?

Hacking is when someone attempts to gain unauthorized access to computer systems, networks, or data. The goal is to manipulate, alter, or steal data from the target system. Hacking can be done for various reasons, such as malicious intent, financial gain, or espionage.

Types of Hacking

There are various types of hacking, including:

1. Password Hacking: Password hacking is when hackers attempt to steal passwords or crack them using brute force or other techniques.

2. Email Hacking: Email hacking is when hackers gain access to an email account to steal personal or sensitive information.

3. Website Hacking: Website hacking is when hackers gain access to a website’s database to steal customer information, financial information, or other valuable data.

4. Network Hacking: Network hacking is when hackers try to gain access to a company’s network to steal private information or data.

5. Malware Hacking: Malware hacking is when hackers use malicious software to gain access to a system and steal information.

How to Protect Yourself from Hacking

There are several steps you can take to protect yourself from hacking, including:

1. Use strong passwords and change them regularly.

2. Keep your software and operating systems up to date with the latest security patches.

3. Use two-factor authentication on your accounts to add an extra layer of security.

4. Be cautious when clicking on links or downloading files from unknown sources.

5. Use antivirus software to protect against malware and viruses.

6. Regularly back up your data to prevent data loss if your system is hacked.

7. Educate yourself on hacking techniques and stay up to date on the latest hacking trends.

8. Avoid using public Wi-Fi for sensitive information.


Hacking is a widespread issue that affects individuals and organizations worldwide. By understanding what hacking is, how it works, and how to protect yourself from it, you can minimize the risk of becoming a victim. Take steps to secure your digital life, keep your systems updated, and be cautious when interacting online to stay safe from hackers. Educate yourself on hacking techniques, and report any suspicious activity to keep yourself and those around you safe.

What is Hacking?

Hacking crime is committed through the usage of computers, the Internet, or virtual networks, which is defined as the unlawful access of – or entry into – the computer terminal, database, or digital record system belonging to another individual; typically, hacking is conducted with the intent to commit a computer-based, electronic criminal act. Unlawfully, illegally, and harmfully collecting or amassing an individual’s private information with regards to the internet, a computer, or alternative electronic network may result the in the illicit possession and misuse of personal data without the consent of the victim.

Hacking into a computer – which can also be defined as virtual trespassing by means of collecting personal data in an intrusive manner – is one of the foremost means facilitated by individuals attempting to commit identity theft.

How is Hacking used for Identity Theft?

‘Hackers’ – the colloquial classification of individuals undertaking exploitative, manipulative, unethical, and illegal behavior or actions with the expressed intention to intrude on computer systems belonging to other individuals – may vary in experience, classification, and tactical maneuvering. While certain individuals undertaking hacking measures in order to commit identity theft may do so in obtrusive and purposeful means, other hackers may act in clandestine, illicit, and secretive manners.

However, the victim of identity theft may be impressionable, impressionable, and oftentimes vulnerable individuals unfamiliar with computational systems.  Upon this unlawful access of a computer terminal belonging to the victim, the perpetrator may facilitate methodology that includes the commandeering or illicit removal of personal, private, or financial information.

What is an Online Predator?

Financial Online Predators typically target unsuspecting or impressionable victims commonly unfamiliar with the Internet or computational systems; Financial Online Predators may attempt to extract personal and private information from their victims in order to commit fraud, cause destruction, or facilitate means of extortion.

Upon unlawfully accessing data stored in its electronic form, a victim may be unaware that any or all information has been repossessed – and subsequently misused within an identity fraud operation. Hackers acting as online predators may target a wide range of electronic networks, including commercial and residential computer systems.

How to Prevent Electronic Identity Theft

Due to technological innovation, electronic identity theft is considered by many to be one of the most recently-developed crimes, credited – in part – to the ongoing advent of computer-based technology.

This type of technology relies heavily on the Internet and online activity, and as a result, regulations and oversight of this type of activity has been expressed in the spectrum of preventative measures involving the cessation of electronic identity theft.

Companies providing methods of Identity theft prevention – including Lifelock, which is one of the most widely-acclaimed and recognized – have employed protective measures ranging from securing online perimeters to communicative transmission inquiring about the validity of unsubstantiated activity; these types of companies have found their respective niche within the prevention of identity fraud upon providing protection in lieu of infringing on personal privacy.