Identities of 121 children stolen
A man was arrested and booked in St. Charles and Jefferson Parishes on multiple counts of fraud connected to an alleged major scam that involved using the stolen identities of children to create false identities that were then sold and used to purchase high dollar items.
Charles Roy, 31, is listed as a director of the Fresh Start Financial Group and one of 20 people arrested statewide in connection to the company, which allegedly facilitated the identity theft of 121 children from across the United States. Those were used to create fake identities and boost their credit scores before selling the identities, which were used to purchase high-priced items like luxury vehicles.
Roy has been charged with multiple crimes including bank fraud, identity theft, insurance fraud, injuring public records and motor vehicle theft. His co-director, Tanya Ward, 42, was booked in Jefferson and St. Tammany Parishes on charges of bank fraud, drug possession, insurance fraud, unlawful production of fraudulent documents and identity fraud. According to Louisiana State Police, the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office is seeking an indictment against both for racketeering regarding what state police called a criminal enterprise.
The two, along with 18 others, were arrested after a joint investigation of Louisiana State Police, Homeland Security Investigations, the state Inspector General and the St. Tammany Parish and Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Offices. The initial investigation involved the theft of a Mandeville resident’s identity to purchase a vehicle, according to state police. That investigation revealed Roy, Ward and Joshua Blaise had an affiliation and had purchased high value luxury vehicles via stolen and false identifiers.
In April of last year, investigators located 10 stolen vehicles, three firearms, narcotics, approximately $2,000 cash and multiple counterfeit identification cards.
That and other evidence seized as the investigation unfolded revealed members of Fresh Start would acquire stolen or unassigned social security numbers and attach a fictitious name to it, state police said. Additional search warrants allowed investigators to access electronic, email, business, cell phone and credit records.
That exposed allegedly over 100 children’s identities used to create synthetic identities, which were then sold to willing customers of Fresh Start Financial in order to commit fraud. According to state police, the potential fraud loss totals more than $1 million.
The fake identities were reportedly floated by the use of addresses of local homes for sale to create fake payroll stubs and utility bills. Those documents would be used to apply for credit to establish a history.
Others arrested in connection to the crime include Blaine, Jermaine Toussaint (26), Caridell Marshall (24), Chloe Singleton (30), Shaquille Florant (24), Torron Wilson (42), Kimberly Gentry (38), Dsean Young (36), Kendra Walker (36), Jasmine Ceaser (24), Elmira Fobbs (24), Shanequa Henry (29), Johnnisha Matthews (26), Pauline Peters (26), Ladell Eurings (44), Erin Alonso (23) and Daijonia Hopson (31). Two others, Raymoniqua Johnson (25) and Courtney Griffith (32), are being sought by state police and are considered fugitives.