ROSLYN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – They are said to have preyed on the elderly and those struggling to find affordable housing or a better-paying job.
There are now stinging allegations on Long Island, where a duo of female suspects is charged with stealing hundreds of identities and then claiming the victims’ tax refund checks, reports CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan.
1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera speaks with one of the alleged victims
The suspect from Roslyn slammed her door in McLogan’s face on Thursday. Later, her alleged partner in crime, living in the lap of luxury in Rockville Centre, refused to buzz McLogan in.
“Pain, animosity, all down the line, because how can two people do this to 250 people across the country?” John Oldring said.
Oldring, who lives in Glenwood Landing, is one of the victims whose identities were stolen, and used to file for more than half a million dollars in fraudulent tax refunds, bank loans, and credit cards.
WCBS 880′s Sophia Hall On The Story
On Thursday, Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice charged 42-year-old Susan Pemberton of Rockville Centre and 22-year-old Cynthia Sibert of Roslyn with grand larceny and scheme to defraud in this high-tech crime with a new twist.
“The scammers use that information to fill out tax returns. They were filed with state tax department and they received thousands of dollars of taxpayer money that went directly into their pockets,” Rice said.
Related: Protect Yourself From Identity Theft
Using Craigslist, prosecutors claim the scammers lured in the vulnerable, offering fake jobs and fake housing to the desperate, who then shared their names, addresses, birth dates and Social Security numbers online.
Armed with the secure information the suspects allegedly filed fraudulent state and federal tax returns and were able to collect the big, fat refunds at local rental mail boxes.
The suspects’ homes were raided, resulting in check books and credit cards by the hundreds and luxury goods, including a $175 pair of Gucci baby shoes, authorities said.
“My tax returns were scammed. Identity theft. It’s just heartbreaking for everybody involved,” Oldring said.
Victims fear they will never see their refund checks from the state and federal government. The suspects have apparently spent it all. They will plead not guilty at their arraignments later this month.
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