Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced charges against a Chicago area man for stealing the identities of hundreds of Chicago area people and using their personal information to set up cable television accounts for other people.
Roy Burks, 37, of Richton Park, appeared earlier today in Cook County Criminal Court to formally face charges of identity theft, a Class X felony, theft by deception, a Class 1 felony, and three counts of wire fraud, Class 3 felonies.
Madigan alleged Burks operated a scheme for people who were having trouble setting up Comcast cable service, including customers whose service was shut off for lack of payment or customers who could not get cable service due to bad credit. For $100, Burks offered to set up or restore their Comcast cable service.
To set up the new cable accounts, Burks allegedly stole personal information from customers of an unrelated drug screening business he owned and operated called Plus & Minus in Richton Park. Plus & Minus Services’ customers were required to provide their names, dates of birth and social security numbers for a drug screen. In total, Madigan alleged Burks used 230 stolen identities of his drug-screening company’s customers to open 305 bogus Comcast accounts. The scheme unraveled when the identity theft victims received calls from Comcast about outstanding bills.
“This case demonstrates just how easily someone can steal your personal information, and it should serve as an important reminder to check your credit reports and flag unauthorized accounts quickly as possible because it is no longer a question of if you will become a victim of identity theft but when,” Madigan said.
Madigan encouraged Illinois residents to contact her office’s Identity Theft Hotline at 1 (866) 999-5630 with questions or concerns. The hotline is staffed with identity theft experts who can help victims report the crime to local law enforcement and financial institutions, work to repair their credit and prevent future theft. Hotline operators can also assist callers who want to take proactive steps to prevent their personal information from being stolen. Since the creation of the hotline, the Attorney General’s office has received more than 40,000 requests for assistance from victims of identity theft and assisted in removing $26 million in unauthorized charges from consumers’ accounts.
The case was investigated by the Downers Grove Police Department and referred to Madigan’s office for prosecution. Assistant Attorney General Edward Snow is handling the case for Madigan’s Financial Crimes Bureau.
SOURCE: Illinois Attorney General’s Office