Finally some good news for the Bernanke family!
Federal Reserve Chief Ben Bernanke's confirmation as the nation's top banker seemed like a sure thing until recently, when the political fallout from the Republican U.S. Senate victory in Massachusetts on Tuesday cast uncertainty over the result of his impending Senate hearing. But some good news did arrive this past week: one of the leaders of the identity theft ring that swiped his wife's purse, which contained the couple's checkbook. A few days later, someone started cashing checks on the Bernanke family bank account.
The Federal Reserve Board chairman was one of hundreds of victims of an elaborate identity-fraud ring, headed by a convicted scam artist known as "Big Head," that stole more than $2.1 million from unsuspecting consumers and at least 10 financial institutions around the country. The stolen family checkbook became a part of an ongoing identity-theft investigation by the Secret Service and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, which resulted in a series of arrests and criminal indictments of members of a nationwide ring that used a combination of traditional theft and high-tech electronic fraud to steal from the bank accounts of victims.
One of the leaders of the ring, Leonardo Darnell Zanders, 49, from Dolton, Illinois, was sentenced this past Friday in U.S. District Court in Alexandria to 16 years and eight months in prison. Zanders was the scam artist known by the name “Big Head.” Zanders pleaded guilty during his trial in September to charges of conspiring to commit bank fraud.
Since the case was brought, twelve people have been charged, and 10 have pleaded guilty in the case.