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Technology

Man Held on Identity-Theft Charges

March 21, 2001|From Associated Press

NEW YORK — A busboy is accused of using the Internet and Forbes' list of the richest people in America in a scheme to steal millions from such figures as Steven Spielberg, Warren Buffett, Martha Stewart, Oprah Winfrey, Ross Perot and Ted Turner.

Police are calling it one of the most ambitious identity-theft schemes they have seen. They are still tracing the complex electronic trail to determine exactly how much was stolen, but fear it could be well into the millions.

New York police investigators arrested Abraham Abdallah, a 32-year-old high school dropout, on March 7 as he allegedly picked up equipment to make phony credit cards.

Court papers say Abdallah was carrying the Social Security numbers, home addresses and birth dates of 217 CEOs, celebrities and tycoons. The information was scribbled in a tattered copy of Forbes' "The 400 Richest People in America."

Abdallah, police say, also had more than 400 stolen credit card numbers, including some that were used to buy about $100,000 of computer equipment and gold coins.

Abdallah, charged with multiple counts of criminal impersonation, forgery and fraud, is being held on $1-million bail.

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