Federal employees were among the hundreds of victims of what prosecutors Thursday described as a large-scale identify theft ring operating in the Washington area.
Ten people were charged in the scam to steal personal information, including social security numbers, from dental and insurance offices and other area businesses, the US Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia announced in a news release Thursday.
A copy of the indictment can be viewed here.
Prosecutors said more than 600 potential victims have been identified, including employees at the State and Defense departments and the U.S. Agency for International Development.
Once they stole the personal data, members of the identity theft conspiracy used that information to create bogus ID’s to open credit lines under the victims’ names, running up charges at Macy’s, Jared the Galleria of Jewelry and Kay Jewelers, according to the 16-page indictment.
Prosecutors announced the arrests of: Janero Blalock, 31, and Christopher Bush, 39, whom authorities identified as the ringleaders, as well as Adrienne Pritchett, 42; Segale Battle, 30; Jamille Ferguson, 31; Tekia Thomas, 20; and Elizabeth Monika Hunter, 19.
Two others were already in custody: Jennifer Scruggs, 44, and Rungnatee Person, 45. Prosecutors said an arrest warrant had been issued for one other defendant, Kevin Middleton, 32.