What to Know
- Five people were arrested in connection to an alleged identity theft ring that attempted to steal more than $1,000,000, prosecutors say.
- Among the arrested is a BK man who ran a credit consulting business and former collegiate football player who briefly played with NY Giants
- The group allegedly stole as many as 500 identities to apply for fraudulent loans — eventually stealing at least $250,000, prosecutors say
Five people, including a Brooklyn man who ran a credit consulting business and a former University of Florida football player who briefly played with the New York Giants, were arrested in connection to an alleged identity theft ring that attempted to steal more than $1,000,000, prosecutors say.
Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas and United States Postal Inspector in Charge, Philip R. Bartlett, announced that Dacson Sears, 36, Nyantakyi Boateng, 32, Konstantinos Toikas, 28, Amber Mantock, 25, and Summer Aboushady, 26, were all arrested in connection to the ring that targeted five major credit unions, including Nassau Educators Federal Credit Union.
“Over the course of a year these defendants allegedly operated a highly sophisticated and organized loan and identity theft ring,” Singas said in a press release. “The effects of this type of fraud are devastating for those who have to reclaim their identities and the banks that have to recoup financial losses. This investigation, one of the largest identity theft cases we have ever investigated, highlights the importance of strong working relationships among all levels of law enforcement.”
The group allegedly stole as many as 500 identities to apply for fraudulent loans — eventually stealing at least $250,000, according to prosecutors.
Prosecutors say that from at least February 2018 to February 2019, Sears, the alleged ringleader of the operation, filed for more than 100 credit union loan applications using the stolen identities of hundreds of individuals with good credit.
The group allegedly also targeted teachers from Great Neck, Syosset and Lawrence whose names they found on public websites and who had good credit scores.
Then individuals allegedly bought information from their victims via the dark web and secured fraudulent loans to pay for trips, rent and personal expenses.
Sears is the owner of Sears Credit Advisory Counselling LLC., a credit repair service, which he operates out of his Brooklyn apartment, the district attorney says.
The loans, taken out in amounts ranging from $7,500 to $35,000, were allegedly filed electronically under the stolen identities, using the names and social security numbers of the individuals. Prosecutors say that in many cases a money order was used to open the loan, and once the credit union approved it, the loan money was deposited into bank accounts opened in the victims’ names.
Sears is also accused of opening credit cards in the victims’ names.
Prosecutors say that Abooshady, of Queens, worked for Capital One as a banker and is accused of stealing account information and selling it to the other members of the ring. While employed there, she allegedly opened accounts for Sears in the names of the stolen identities so Sears could have loan proceeds deposited into the accounts.
Sears, Boateng, Mantock and Toikas are accused of withdrawing the loan proceeds from ATMs and spending the money on personal expenses including car loans, rent and airline tickets.
Boateng, of Perth Amboy, New Jersey, is a former collegiate wide receiver for the University of Florida who was briefly part of the New York Giants, Singas said.
Toikas, of Brooklyn, is a security guard and club bouncer who also deposited loan proceed checks into bank accounts controlled by the ring, prosecutors say.
The alleged ring targeted victims in at least six states, but the district attorney is asking any other potential victims to come forward.
Among the charges the group faces are grand larceny, identity theft and scheme to defraud. If convicted, each faces years in prison — with Sears and Boateng facing up to 15 years each.
Attorney information for the accused was not immediately known.