A group of five identity thieves were arrested by The Broward Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Secret Service’s Miami Electronic Crimes Task Force, authorities said.
The group was arrested and each member is facing felony charges of aggravated white collar crime, fraudulent use of IDs and computer crime with intent to defraud. They are being held at a Broward County jail with $18,500 bond each. It wasn’t immediately known if they had attorneys.
The group was prepared to sell the personal information such as names, dates of birth and social security numbers of thousands of people, the sheriff’s office said.
The operation to catch the group began in December 2012 and was named “Shark Tank,” after the leader of the group, Michael “Sharkey” Peters, 42.
The group included Tracy Menelas, 30, Devin Dorvil, 25, Troy Paul, 33, and Kervin Bonhometre, 26, who gathered the information. Peters would then find buyers for the data, said the report.
While in meetings with undercover authorities, Peters negotiated the sale of each victim’s information for $14 to $20, but the payment was only received after the buyer successfully used the data in a fraudulent transaction, the report said.
Between January through March, Peters handed over a list with the names of around 1,300 victims and a thumb drive with the information of 5,000 others, said the report.
If convicted they could each face at least 10 years in prison.