A 14-year-old high school student and his mother have been charged in connection with a count of identity theft, a Florida sheriff’s office said on Friday.
Law enforcement officials began investigating high schooler Elijah Duett in May when he was accused of threatening to kill a student “who failed to pay into an organized pyramid scheme he directed,” the Volusia sheriff’s office wrote in a message release on Friday.
MPs said that during their investigation they discovered that the 14-year-old had allegedly “purchased a significant amount of stolen personal and financial information online”.
“In addition to Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, and login credentials for a variety of banks and websites, Elijah also had detailed instructions on the steps and equipment needed to forge money orders,” the sheriff’s office wrote.
Investigators say they have located 17 identity theft and grand theft victims affected by the system in the United States. They also said they found messages between Duet and his mother, 38-year-old Selena Wallace. MPs say Wallace allegedly told her son on the news that she “wished he could use his special skills in a legal way – but then asked him to raise his prices to make more profits”.
Duett was arrested and charged with 15 counts of identity theft, obtaining property through fraud and illegally using credit cards. Wallace was “arrested on the principal charge against each charge, along with contribution to the crime of a juvenile”.
The sheriff’s office says its investigation is ongoing. news week has asked the office for comments and updates.
In another September incident, several people were arrested in connection with an identity theft involving victims of the deadly Surfside, Fla., building collapse that occurred last June. Three suspects have been arrested for allegedly stealing the identities of seven deceased victims.
In January, a Florida man pleaded guilty to stealing his twin brother’s identity to steal $64,000 in veterans’ benefits. The man used his brother’s information to apply for subsidized housing, medical and nutritional benefits, the US Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida said at the time.
Also in January, a man originally from Brazil was accused of stealing the identity of an American child who died in a car crash in 1979 and using it throughout his 23-year career as a flight attendant.
https://www.newsweek.com/mother-urged-teen-son-make-higher-profits-identity-theft-police-1735421 Mom urged teenage son to make bigger profits from identity theft: police