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White Supremacists Arrested in Identity Theft Sting

White Supremacists Arrested in Identity Theft Sting

Posted - Feb. 28, 2003 at 4:40 p.m.



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News Specialist Stacey Butler"THIS IS ONE OF THSES KIND OF GROUPS DOING THIS TO FINANCE THIS KIND OF ILLEGAL ACTIVITY."

Law enforcers in Utah arrest nine members of a white supremacist gang for running a sophisiticated identity theft scheme that bilked hundreds of people, out of millions of dollars.

Agents are still looking for two suspects. All have ties to an Aryan Nation gang.

The arrests come after an extensive investigation.

For months the Attorney General's Office has investigated dozens of identity theft victims. They discovered that the same perepetrators, members of a local white supremacy group, were behind every one.

Jade Pusey, Utah Attorney General's Office : "STOLEN CREDIT CARDS CHECKS, ID'S CHECK, TURN INTO FAKE ID'S CHECKS USING YOUR ACCOUNT NUMBER, PERSONAL INFORMATION...THAT QUICKLY TURNS INTO CASH, THEN METH, THEN FIREARMS."

An identity theft ring so sophisticated, so widespread, that the arrest of eleven suspects is just the tip of the iceberg.

Jade Pusey/Utah Attorney General's Office "THESE FOLKS HERE REPRESENT A TREND IN LAW ENFORCEMENT, THEY HAVE FIGURED OUT THAT PROPERTY CRIME PAYS."

Federal state and local law enforcement say the group has stolen unestimated millions throughout the country. Just by stealing victims' driver's licenses and credit cards and checks. From victims like Jenny Armbrust and Senator Patrice Arent.

Jenny Armbrust: "THEY STARTED PRINTING FAKE CHECKS WITH MY NAME AND MY DRIVER'S LICENSE ON THEM."

Sen. Patrice Arent: "THIS IS A DIFFERENT KIND OF THEFT, WHEN THEY BREAK INTO YOUR HOUSE IT'S ONE THING. BUT WHEN THEY STEAL YOUR IDENTITY, THAT GOES ON FOR A LONG TIME."

Sometimes years.

Jade Pusey: "THEIR CREDIT RATING GOES RIGHT INTO THE TOILET."

Eleven suspects. Nine arrested in the Salt Lake County area just after midnight last night.

Lt. Andy Burton, SL Are Metro Gang Unit: "THEY HAVE PREVIOUS DOCUMENTATION AS MEMBERS OF WHITE SUPREMACIST GROUPS."

Groups like the Soldiers of the Aryan Culture or the Fourth Reich. Police say they recruit members of all races to join them in a profitable operation that has claimed victims throughout the United States.

Jade Pusey:"THEY'RE BROUGHT INTO THE GROUP AND USED AS PASSERS OF INFORMATION."

YOUR information.

Stolen when left in vehicles, in the trash, in mailboxes, or from burglaries. The FBI calls group members domestic terrorists.

Chip Burrus, Salt Lake City FBI: "WE'RE VWEY CONCERNED ABOUT THE DOMESTIC TERRORIST ANGLE IN THE STATE OF UTAH."

Attorney general Mark Shurtleff: "THE PEOPLE IN THE STATE OF UTAH NEED TO KNOW THEY ARE PROTECTED BY ALL THE PEOPLE THAT ARE STANDING HERE. "

The charges filed today point to dozens of local victims. Investigators say they only represent a small fraction of the number that is really out there.

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