(follow-up, TX): Man pleads guilty in Emily Morgan Hotel ID theft case

Guillermo Contreras reports: One of the main figures in San Antonio’s largest identity theft case pleaded guilty Thursday. Samuel Micha Dyer entered guilty pleas to conspiracy to commit ID theft fraud, access device fraud and aggravated identity theft. Dyer, 28, admitted being part of a ring that stole and used 17,000 credit card receipts and registration documents from the Emily Morgan Hotel to buy at least $300,000 in merchandise in three states. Read more on MySanAntonio.com

(update) Ringleader pleads in S.A.’s largest ID theft case

The 2006 theft of 17,000 customers’ credit card receipts from the Emily Morgan Hotel in San Antonio, Texas resulted in the largest case of ID theft the city has seen, as noted in previous coverage.  A few elements of the case really struck me at the time the case made the news in 2009:  (1) these were paper records that were stolen,  (2) the breach was not discovered until years later, and (3) some of the data were not misused until years after theft. Now Guillermo Contreras, who has previously covered the case, provides the latest development and some background on the case in a report on MySanAntonio.com I wonder how many ID theft rings are first uncovered due to (1) traffic stops, (2) drug busts, and (3) investigations of health care fraud. Anyone in law enforcement or with access to national statistics want to offer some data?

(follow-up) TX: S.A. has its largest ID-theft case ever

Guillermo Contreras reports: Credit-card numbers from 17,000 guests at the Emily Morgan Hotel were stolen and used in a three-state shopping spree to buy farm and ranch equipment, tires, machinery, all-terrain vehicles and other goods, federal officials say. Prosecutors unsealed indictments Thursday against five people in what officials say is the largest identify-theft case ever in San Antonio. Officials say the suspects used stacks of stolen credit-card receipts from a storage room at the hotel in 2006. They’re then accused of using the receipts to make counterfeit credit cards. Some of the victims — mostly tourists who stayed at the hotel — didn’t realize their information was compromised until months, even years, later. Read more on MySanAntonio.com Previous coverage here.

Bits ‘n Pieces

In the justice system: Abdurrahman Cetin was sentenced in federal court in Florida for bank fraud and aggravated identity theft. Evidence presented at trial showed that Cetin collected the personal and financial information of customers at a Toyota dealer in Long Island, NY, while working there as a salesman in 1999 and then used the information to open five bank accounts and obtain lines of credit at two Myrtle Beach banks, Wilkins said. More. Laura Amber Smith and Richard Cattarusa have been charged in San Antonio’s largest identity-theft case, which involves the stolen personal information of more than 17,000 people who stayed at the Emily Morgan Hotel. Ten people have now been arrested, and more arrests are expected.. More. Previous coverage. Mary L. Landry was sentenced to three years and four months in prison for stealing the identity of a Coast Guard rear admiral. More.

TX: Identity thieves hit 3 S.A. hotels

Guillermo Contreras reports: The personal information of 17,000 people who stayed at San Antonio hotels has been compromised after someone stole stacks of credit card receipts and redistributed them. The still mushrooming identity-theft case is thought to be San Antonio’s largest. “Up to this point, we have recovered 1,500 (receipts), but we’re estimating 17,000 were compromised,” said Mark Bartlett, special agent in charge of U.S. Secret Service in San Antonio, which heads a task force on identity theft made up of several regional law enforcement agencies. The stolen accounts of hundreds of people already have been used to make fraudulent credit cards, which then were used to make purchases at area retailers, court records show. […] The names of the victimized hotels, which include at least three, were not released by authorities. A San Antonio Express-News investigation, however, found hundreds of the ID-theft victims were guests of the Emily Morgan Hotel. Some of the stacks of receipts were stolen from that hotel in fall 2006. The case picked up steam in the past few months after drug investigations turned up some of the stolen items. Read more on MySanAntonio.com