Identity thieves frequently come at their victims from the most unexpected quarters. For instance, it’s been well documented that many identity theft victims are targeted by people they know and trust: family members, employees and hired professionals such as accountants and real estate agents.
Add cops to that list.
Jonathan E. Kelly, a Palm Beach County schools police officer, is accused of stealing the identities of at least 20 teachers and students and was arrested yesterday.
His case isn’t helped by his February arrest on charges of breaking into cars, a method identity thieves frequently use to gain their victims’ personal information.
Assistant district attorney Al Johnson said he expects to find more victims of Kelly’s “impressive organized scheme.”
According to a Palm Beach County Sheriff’s report, Kelly used the district offices’ computers during his six years on the job to steal his victims’ personal information, opened credit card accounts and had the cards sent to empty houses in the gated community where he lives.
Kelly is also accused of stealing checks written to area high schools.
Daniel Farias Elisha, an associate of Kelly’s, told investigators he fenced goods Kelly stole in Palm Beach and Sarasota Counties, selling them on eBay or Craigslist, then wired thousands of dollars in proceeds back to Kelly.
Elisha also said he sold stolen credit cards he got from Kelly, and that they used at least one themselves.
Investigators who searched Kelly’s home and car found names, addresses, birthdates, Social Security numbers, bank routing numbers, email addresses, passwords, original checks and other identifying documents, according to the sheriff’s report.