Nassau DA: 5 busted in 'sophisticated' ID theft ring on LI

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MINEOLA -

Five defendants have been busted in what Nassau District Attorney Madeline Singas and U.S. postal inspectors are calling a "sophisticated" identity theft ring.

The defendants are accused of stealing people's identities and then opening up numerous accounts at different credit unions.

Singas says the ringleader was 36-year-old Dacson Sears, who was an economics major at Tufts University and ran his own credit consulting firm.

The DA says it started with Sears trolling the internet for publicly available names of people he thought would have good credit -- like doctors at Winthrop Hospital and teachers in the Lawrence and Great Neck school districts.

Sears then allegedly bought more information about the people on the darknet and also teamed up with four other people, including two employees of a Capitol One branch in Brooklyn: Konstantinos Toikas and Summer Aboushady.

Once Sears had all the personal information, he and the others allegedly used U.S. Postal Service money orders to open up fraudulent accounts at several credit unions. The crew allegedly then took out $250,000 in loans they used to "pay personal expenses, take trips and pay rent."

Singas says NEFCU is one of the the places where the defendants opened up fraudulent accounts. The VP of marketing for NEFCU says it was actually her employees that got suspicious and tipped off authorities.

Officials believe there are an estimated 500 victims. The Nassau DA says there could be many more out there.

Prosecutors say the best advice is to check your credit report once a year.

If you think you're a victim, call the Nassau County Clerk's Office financial crimes bureau at 516-571-2159.

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