Ditch the Disguise

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35905365 - computer hacker stealing data from a laptop concept for network security, identity theft and computer crime

The Internet is full of links to crimes carried out in ridiculous disguises. Some of my favorites include two men who used a permanent marker to draw mustaches and beards on their faces; the ‘Duct Tape Bandit,’ who wrapped his head in, you guessed it – duct tape; and, a man who tried to rob a store with a clear plastic bag on his head. Today’s fraudster from New Haven, Connecticut tried to get away with identity theft by hiding behind a very simple disguise, but it didn’t fool investigators. (At least she was smart enough not to use a permanent marker, duct tape or a plastic bag.)

Apparently, the fraudster from Connecticut was a mother of four who had a lengthy rap sheet. (The current conviction total is 22.) According to today’s fraud article, her previous 21 criminal convictions were for identity theft and larceny. And, let’s not forget about additional pending state charges for identity theft, forgery, larceny and robbery offenses. (Geez, when does she have time to take care of the kids? Maybe all the money she raked in went to pay for a nanny.)

Here’s the scoop on the current conviction. At the end of 2015, the New Haven woman stole one person’s identity and used it to obtain a credit card. She also rented an automobile, paid personal expenses and withdrew cash advances. In fact, it was a surveillance video at an ATM that captured a photo of the woman dressed in an orange scarf and distinctive sun glasses withdrawing cash advances. Investigators found the bright colored scarf and sunglasses along with the victim’s personally identifiable information and the credit card she obtained under the false identity. (Note to self: next time, ditch the disguise.)

The 37-year-old mom from Connecticut pleaded guilty to wire fraud and identity theft for stealing thousands of dollars from more than a dozen people. She was sentenced to three years in federal prison and three years of supervised release. (Perhaps this woman will be able to take along her brightly-colored scarf to prison. She can use it to accessorize her new orange jump suit.)

 Today’s “Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, Mother of Four Sentenced for Fraud, Identity Theft Offenses,” published by Bridgeport Daily Voice on November 4, 2018.

A mother of four in Connecticut with an extensive rap sheet has been sentenced for stealing thousands of dollars from more than a dozen people as part of an identity theft scheme.

Leshanda Long of New Haven has been sentenced to three years in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, after pleading guilty to wire fraud and identity theft in September last year.

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Larry Benson, Senior Director of Strategic Alliances, LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

Larry Benson is responsible for developing strategic partnerships and solutions for the government vertical. His expertise focuses on how government programs are defrauded by criminal groups, and the approaches necessary to prevent them from succeeding.

Mr. Benson has 30 years of experience in sales and business development. Before joining LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, he spent 12 years founding and managing two software technology startups. During the 1990s he spent 10 years as a Regional Director helping to grow a New England-based technology company from 300 employees to 7,000. He started his career with Martin Marietta Aerospace working on laser guided weapons and day/night vision systems.

A sought-after speaker and accomplished writer, Mr. Benson is the principal author of “Fraud of the Day,” a website dedicated to educating government officials about how criminals are defrauding government programs. He has co-authored WTF? Where’s the Fraud? How to Unmask and Stop Identity Fraud’s Drain on Our Government, and Data Personified, How Fraud is Changing the Meaning of Identity.

Benson holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Albright College, and earned two graduate degrees – a Master of Business Administration from Florida Institute of Technology, and a Master of Science in Engineering from Lehigh University.