You may have heard by now about the couple that was arrested for identity theft after posting a photo of their Morton’s Steakhouse dinner on Instagram. But did you look past the comical twist and notice the details of the crime these individuals attempted? If you take advantage of shredding in Los Angeles, you no doubt care about protecting your identity – and so, the details of the story may shock you.
What court documents revealed is that Nathaniel Troy Maye and Tiwanna Tenise Thomason plead guilty to possession of unauthorized access devices and aggravated identity theft, because they intended to sell a large volume of stolen identities – about 200,000 identities, at first, and later 700,000 when they met with an undercover IRS informant.
According to the documents, the informant reported that Thomason first offered to sell him “approximately 200,000 stolen means of identification, including the names, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers of identity theft victims, in order to prepare false tax returns.” When they met weeks later, he changed the figure to 700,000 and explained how the false tax returns would be filed.
The final meeting before the arrest was at Morton’s, where the thieves gave the informant a flash drive containing the first 50,000 identities. The informant turned the flash drive over to the IRS, which used the name “Troy Maye” in the metadata to find the Instagram account with that name and a time stamp that matched the informant’s story. That was the evidence needed to arrest these two identity thieves.
Thankfully, they did not get away with the crime. But if they had, the number of lives that would be ruined would be in the hundreds of thousands. It’s just one more example of why it is so important to guard your identity, shredding any copies of documents that contain your Social Security number or birthdate. Take these documents to your local Box Brothers store for secure drop off shredding in Los Angeles, powered by Sergeant Shredder.