Federal and Minnesota state investigators are working on dismantling a sophisticated fraud ring. Investigators say that the fraud ring involves about 200 members and could be one of the largest cases of its type in this country.
The organized crime ring has members in the Twin Cities and recruits on Facebook and other social networking web sites. This crime ring steals identities, raids bank and credit card accounts and defrauds businesses and banks nationwide. In addition, they buy stolen identities from employees of check cashing services and Internet data brokers.
The fraud ring has roots in West Africa and Eastern Europe. About thirty to forty percent of fraudulent check activity is in the Twin Cities. Some banks working with investigators are Wells Fargo, TCF Bank and US Bank.