Sixteen people have been indicted by a grand jury on 168 counts, after law enforcement discovered that the group was responsible for a statewide identity theft ring that victimized over a hundred individuals and businesses across Colorado.
Matthew Mccluskey, 47, Brittany Cox, 21, Matthew Leman, 30, Jennifer Spade, 41, Lauren Ciparro, 19, Johnnie Main, 20, Carla Cominiello, 30, Michael Dicino, 28, Teresa Kidlow, 35, and Michael Relic, 42, were arrested earlier this week and are being held on bonds ranging from $10,000 to $100,000. Defendant Laura Fritz, 26, will be issued a summons to appear in court.
The indictment states that police found out about the crimes when Fritz walked into the Lakewood Police Department in January saying she knew about two ID theft rings.
Defendants Robert Turner, 46, Alyse Shank, 19, William Joseph Roberts, 45, Jennifer Putman, 28 and Roy B. Frank, 36, remain at large. The Arapahoe County District Attorneys Office and local law enforcement agencies are seeking the publics help in locating the five remaining defendants.
Shirley Christmon, a Westminster resident, is one of the victims named, and said she found out when her bank called her.
"My bank called and told me, 'We've got some charges on your account, and we want to know did you make those?' I said, "No, I didn't make any of these.'"
According to the indictment, the group would steal people's personal and financial information and then put the information on fake IDs and forged checks. They would then use the fake documents at businesses and banks across the Front Range.
This indictment is the accumulation of many months of investigation by numerous law enforcement agencies across the state, said Chief Deputy District Attorney Cheryl Rowles-Stokes, Chief of the District Attorneys Office Economic Crimes Unit. Hundreds, if not thousands, of man hours were devoted to the eradication of this identity theft ring for the protection of not only the businesses and citizens of Arapahoe County, but the businesses and citizens of our state as well
The defendants were discovered and captured as a result of a collaborative effort of the Arapahoe County District Attorneys Office Economic Crimes Unit, the Aurora Police Department, the Arapahoe County Sheriffs Office, the United States Postal Inspection Service of Denver, Parker Police Department, Jefferson County Sheriffs Office, the Arvada Police Department and the Lafayette Police Department, Rowles-Stokes said.
This 168-count grand jury indictment has brought an end to a prolific criminal enterprise, said Aurora Police Chief Daniel Oates. Thanks to the diligent and effective efforts of investigators from a number of law enforcement agencies, and the work of the Arapahoe County District Attorneys Office, the defendants named in the indictment are no longer free to prey on communities throughout the state.
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