We are all aware of the problems posed by identity theft, but now the tables have turned; two Florida men are facing their own problems now that they have been indicted by the Colorado attorney general’s office.
John Parks and Daryl Honowitz were indicted by a Colorado grand jury Thursday and arrested in their Florida homes to be extradited back to Colorado.
“While many think of identity theft as a consumer issue,” Chief Deputy Attorney General Cynthia Coffman warns, “This case exemplifies that businesses are not immune to this crime and need to do their part to stay safe.”
The scheme began in February 2011, when Parks accessed the secretary of state’s website to find businesses that were delinquent in filing renewal paperwork. Parks would use various identities to pay the filing fees and submit forged Statement of Curing Delinquency and Statement of Change paperwork to acquire the businesses.
Parks and Honowitz would then often submit false paperwork to the creditor Dun and Bradstreet to obtain better credit for their fake businesses.
Once they had these businesses looking profitable on paper, they would often sell the businesses. Other times, the two would enter into a lease-back scheme to steal money from secure creditors. They would lease computer equipment to Marlin Business Bank, representing the equipment as high end technology. The equipment the bank actually received was of a much lesser quality. The pair made $32,226 on this scheme.
“Thanks to the thorough work of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation,” Secretary of State Scott Gessler said in a written statement, “Business identity thieves will constantly be looking over their shoulders knowing that we’re coming for them,”
On the lookout for business identity theft, the Colorado attorney general, secretary of state and Colorado Bureau of Investigations tracked down the two and ultimately put an end to the operation.
“This comprehensive indictment not only reflects outstanding cooperation between state agencies but it also sets the stage for bringing justice to victims of this insidious crime,” said Gessler.
The Colorado secretary of state’s office has set up security features that will make it harder for potential thieves to steal identities. Business owners can sign up for password protection and email notification through the secretary of state’s office.