The leaders of a Staten Island, N.Y., identity theft ring targeting senior citizens were arrested this week after posting various pictures depicting vacations and items purchased with their illicit earnings to Facebook.
Clyde Forteau, 29, and Amanda Zieminski, 27, were arrested and charged with 64 criminal counts, ABC News reports. The criminal charges include identity theft, grand larceny and falsifying business records, the Staten Island District Attorney’s office said in a statement Wednesday.
Zieminski and Forteau reportedly used stolen funds garnered from unsuspecting senior citizens to fund lavish expenditures, including courtside seats at the 2012 NBA Finals and a Disney World engagement, ABC News reports. The Staten Island couple got engaged in front of Cinderella’s castle, according to police. "But make no mistake, Amanda Zieminski is no Cinderella and Clyde Forteau is far from Prince Charming," Staten Island District Attorney Daniel M. Donovan, Jr., said in a statement.
Police allege that Zieminski and Forteau stole personal information, including Social Security numbers and credit card data, from more than 80 senior citizens at the Staten Island medical clinic where Zieminski was once employed, ABC News reports. Forteau reportedly used the stolen data to file fake tax returns, wiring the refunds to a private bank account. He also stole the victims’ Social Security payments, and then impersonated a Hurricane Sandy victim to explain the excess money to authorities, police say.
Authorities were able to track down Zieminski and Forteau after a year-long investigation, in part by discovering photos of the couple’s Disney World engagement, as well as other purchases, on their Facebook pages, ABC News reports. At the time of their arrest, Zieminski and Forteau were found in possession of over 50 stolen credit cards and 20 fake driver’s licenses.
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In addition to Forteau and Zieminski, police have arrested three alleged accomplices in connection with the identity theft ring, all of whom have pleaded not guilty, ABC News reports. Attorneys for the couple have yet to comment on the situation.