According to the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida, 14 people were recently indicted for their involvement in a scheme targeting bank customers' online checking and savings accounts.
"The defendants range in age from 23 to 53," writes SC Magazine's Dan Kaplan. "The alleged ringleader, Ibrahin Elias, was charged with 16 counts of substantive bank fraud, three counts of aggravated identity theft, and one count each of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and destruction of evidence."
"According to prosecutors, Elias worked as the ringleader, gathering stolen personal identification information of unwitting bank customers, including names, birthdates, and Social Security numbers," writes The Miami Herald's Ina Paiva Cordle. "He then allegedly used the information to impersonate bank customers and access their accounts through Bank of America’s website. Once Elias had control of an account, he allegedly transferred funds to accomplices, who made their own accounts available to receive the stolen money."
"As if transferring the funds electronically was not enough, prosecutors claim Elias also ordered checks for the stolen accounts so people to access money without making an electronic transaction," CBS Miami reports.
"If convicted, each defendant charged with conspiracy and bank fraud violations faces a potential maximum statutory sentence of 30 years in prison," writes Forbes' Bill Singer. "Additionally, Elias faces mandatory consecutive two-year sentences for each conviction for aggravated identity theft and a potential maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for attempting to destroy evidence."