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Former JPMorgan Banker Admits to New York Identity Theft

A former JPMorgan Chase & Co. business banker recently pleaded guilty in New York state Supreme Court to grand larceny, identity theft, falsifying business records, forgery and scheme to defraud after stealing more than $1.1 million from the bank and its customers, Bloomberg reports.

Years ago, the only identity theft people had to worry about was if a pickpocket stole a person’s purse or wallet and began using their credit cards to make illegal purchases. Identity theft in New York and throughout the country is now tied to physical theft as well as internet-based crimes. Internet-based crimes now account for a large portion of thefts in the United States as well as abroad.
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Hao “Howie” Wang, 28, of Newark, New Jersey, pleaded guilty recently in New York state Supreme Court to grand larceny, identity theft, falsifying business records, forgery and scheme to defraud, the office of District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. said in a statement, according to Bloomberg.

He was arrested in November and indicted in December. He worked at a retail branch on Park Avenue from 2007 to 2008. Prosecutors allege his scheme lasted about a year.

In one instance, prosecutors said, he stole a person’s identity without their knowledge to obtain a $100,000 loan by falsifying records. The government alleged he stole hundreds of thousands of dollars and transferred money to offshore accounts. He could have faced up to 25 years in prison, but will be sentenced to two to six years in prison plus restitution.

According to the Internet Crime Complaint Center, there were more than 303,000 internet-based criminal complaints in 2010. That was down from 336,600 in 2009, the all-time high.

New York ranked third in the nation behind California and Florida regarding perpetrators from the same state as the complainant with 29.4 percent. According to the center, New York made up 5.8 percent of the complaints of internet-based crime, which ranks it fourth in the nation.

According to the agency’s annual report for New York, non-delivery of merchandise was the number one complaint made by New Yorkers in 2010:

Non-delivery of merchandise: 20.1%
Identity Theft: 18.2%
Auction Fraud: 12.9%
Credit Card Theft: 7.6%
Miscellaneous Fraud: 6.4%
Computer Crimes: 4.9%
Overpayment Fraud: 4.2%
Advanced Fee Fraud: 3.8%
SPAM: 3.4%
Illegal Business: 2.4%

The majority of the monetary loss ranged from $1,000 to $4,999 and lower. Only 9.9 percent of the complaints resulted in losses above $10,000. The top dollar complaint, according to the report, was $245,000, while the reported loss exceeded $26 million.

Having one’s identity stolen can be a painful reminder that a person must take all precautions to ensure their Social Security Number and financial information is secretly guarded at all times. While online business can be convenient, consumers should take special care to make sure they protect their interests. And victims should consider consulting with a Great Neck identity theft lawyer if they wish to be reimbursed or seek payment for losses.

The Law Offices of Ira S. Newman provides criminal defense in New York City, Long Island, Great Neck and throughout the area. Call 516-487-7375 or contact us through the website.

More Blog Entries:

Citigroup Mum For Three Weeks To Customers Whose Accounts Were Hacked: June 18, 2011
Hackers May Access Your Personal Information and Increase Your Risk of Identity Theft: April 20, 2011
Additional Resources:

Ex-JPMorgan Banker Admits to Stealing Identities for $1.1 Million Theft, by Chris Dolmetsch, Bloomberg