Car theft ring used fake ID to finance cars at dealerships across Illinois
Chicago-based multi-state car theft ring “stole” cars from numerous luxury dealers using fake ID to set up financing for high-end cars, Attorney General Kwame Raoul said Tuesday. at a press conference with prosecutors for Cook and DuPage counties.
Six people will face charges of fraud, identity theft, forgery and aggravated possession of a motor vehicle in connection with the theft of more than a dozen cars, including cars stolen from homes. Lexus and Porsche dealers, as part of a scheme that started at least this far. As last fall, Raoul and DuPage County State Attorney Robert Berlin said at a press conference at the DuPage County Government Complex in Wheaton.
Although he said the charges came after a year-long investigation, Raoul said the case was filed as part of the Retail Organized Crime Task Force he announced ago. two weeks, a collaboration between law enforcement and state prosecutors that targets coordinated criminal networks that steal and close stolen property.
Suspected leaders Anthony “Tony Sosa” Brown, 40, of Lansing, and Sierra Wells, 27, of Orland Park, have been charged in Cook County. The two face charges of identity theft, aggravated possession of a motor vehicle, running a continued business of financial crimes, financial institution fraud, forgery, and theft by deception. If found guilty on all counts, the couple face a sentence of up to 30 years in prison.
Four co-defendants face lower charges in DuPage County cases that carry sentences of up to 15 years: Kevin Bandy, 48; DeAngelo Hackney, 30; James Krout, 47; and Zebedee Moore, 48. The investigation is ongoing.
The scheme relied on the use of stolen identities to secure credit at dealerships, as well as fully fabricated identities, Raoul said. Wells allegedly obtained the credentials and Brown recruited people to act like bogus buyers.
It was not clear how many cars were recovered, but a press release said dealerships and banks suffered damage of $ 100,000, roughly the price of the sticker on a 2021 Porsche Carrera. Dealers mentioned in the charges unveiled Tuesday included Napleton Westmont Porsche, Lucky Motors, McGrath Lexus and Bill Jacobs Volkswagen. In their remarks Tuesday, Raoul and Berlin thanked the Barrington Police Department in Bloomington for their help with the investigation.
The “sophisticated” scam would have been difficult for dealers to identify in time to stop it, said David Sloan, president of the Chicago Auto Trade Association.
“It’s pretty hard for an office manager in a dealership or a CFO to figure out some of these things, so it’s great to hear that it’s being continued that way,” he said.