Identity Theft Ring Arrested in La.

July 19, 2007

The Louisiana State Police reported that detectives with its Special Crimes Unit arrested three individuals on July 17 who are thought to be part of an identity theft ring operating in the Baton Rouge area.

State Police detectives received information that four former employees of Ted’s Meds Pharmacy, located in Zachary, La., were illegally using the personal identity information of their customers to apply for loans and other forms of credit without the customer’s knowledge. Ted’s Meds is a national mail order pharmacy based in Florida with telemarketing sales offices located throughout the country.

According to the LSP, a five month investigation led to the arrest of three individuals in connection with the scheme to steal thousands of dollars by stealing the identities of victims who ranged in age from senior citizens to small children.

Those arrested were identified as Lakeisha Stanley, 5119 Old Slaughter Rd, Zachary, La.; April Matthews, 10611 Timblerlane Ave, Baton Rouge, La.; and Cosha Jackson, 13842 Chalmette St, Baton Rouge, La.. A fourth suspect, Lashawna White of Baton Rouge is currently hospitalized for a medical condition but will be arrested upon her release.

The four are accused of using the names and Social Security numbers of their victims to apply for payday loans at loan companies across the country. Most of the victims were elderly clients of Ted’s Meds Pharmacy who routinely had to provide their identifying information to the company in order to refill their prescriptions which they would later receive by mail.

Besides the Ted’s Meds Pharmacy clients who had their identities stolen, friends and family members of the suspects also became victims of identity theft, the LSP said.

It is alleged that on several occasions, Jackson and White used the identities of their children by using their names and Social Security numbers to obtain various loans. The ages of the children ranged from five to seven years of age.

So far, State Police detectives have identified 26 victims of identity theft whose personal information was used to make as many as 120 loan applications with various financial lenders across the country.

The four suspects are thought to have been stealing identities of Ted’s Meds Pharmacy customers since at least December 2006 and continued this activity through March of 2007. In January 2007, senior managers with Ted’s Meds Pharmacy terminated the employment of Jackson, Stanley, and Matthews and then contacted State Police after discovering their criminal activity. White, who was not an employee of Ted’s Meds Pharmacy, had direct contact with Jackson, Stanley and Matthews and is considered by detectives to be the main organizer of the group. The other three suspects were booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on one count each for Conspiracy to commit identity theft.

Source: Louisiana State Police

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