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Valley Roundup | Canyon Country

Arrest Made in Identity Theft Case

March 22, 2000|ZANTO PEABODY

A Canyon Country man has been arrested on suspicion of running an identify-theft operation in which he allegedly accessed other people's Social Security numbers.

Sheriff's deputies arrested Wayne Alvarez at his Canyon Country home Monday. Det. David Lingscheit said Alvarez, 47, opened dozens of bank and credit card accounts.

"We still don't know how he accessed all the numbers," Lingscheit said.

Credit card company fraud investigators had scrutinized Alvarez's alias accounts for two months, Lingscheit said, before turning the case over to the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station.

Alvarez is suspected of setting up post office boxes in other people's names throughout Southern California and Nevada and then building up credit limits under those names, Lingscheit said.

"He had to go to these boxes one or two times a week, move money around and juggle all those accounts," Lingscheit said. "He kept very good records. This is a complex crime."

The Sheriff's Department built its case on one name and the 14 accounts created with it. The rest of the information will be turned over to U.S. Postal Service inspectors, Lingscheit said.

Alvarez was scheduled to be arraigned today in Newhall Superior Court.

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