Identity Theft Task Force Getting Results. In 2009, the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office (PAO) created an identity theft prosecutor position with funds from the state legislature.
Identity Theft Task Force Getting Results
In 2009, the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office (PAO) created an identity theft prosecutor position with funds from the state legislature. The position was part of a financial fraud task force in King and Pierce Counties that funds a detective, crime analyst and part-time prosecutor. Banks fund the task force through a tax on the UCC (Uniformed Commercial Code) filings. In 2011, the PAO added to the effort by funding the prosecutor full time and putting Deputy Prosecuting Attorney (DPA) Peter Lewicki in the position. The taks force's success has been stunning.
In 2013, the task force prosecuted 87 defendants who committed a staggering 599 felonies. Lewicki recently obtained a sentence of 66 months for Tri Tran who amassed the personal and financial information that had been taken in burglaries, mail thefts and car prowls. Tran purchased the information from the thieves and used it to create fake credit cards or credit accounts under victims’ names. He also obtained a combined sentence of over 70 months for Geraldine Langaman who was a previously convicted identity thief who was caught again with over 50 victims’ personal information. Langaman admitted to knowing how to create false driver’s licenses, then selling the information she had collected and created to other criminals seeking to commit fraud.
The financial fraud task force is unique and includes members from banks, local law enforcement, county prosecutors, federal agents, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the State Attorney General’s Office. The task force concentrates its resources on the worst offenders, recognizing that eliminating the most prolific thieves has the greatest impact on the community.
In 2013, identity theft was the number one reported crime in the nation. Washington state has taken an aggressive stand against identity theft. According to the FTC, our state has dropped from 15th in the nation to 23rd in identity theft complaints since 2009. For information on how to avoid becoming a victim of identity theft, go to the attached linkID Theft Task Force members (L-R) DPA Peter Lewicki, Pierce Co. Sheriff’s Deputy Glenda Nissan, Redmond PD Lt. Tim Gately, Crime Analyst Nicole Perry, BECU’s Mitch Mondala, U.S. Bank’s Susan Ross, and Redmond PD Commander Thom Conroy.
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