Attorney General Nabs Million Dollar Identity Theft
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UPDATED: Feb 15, 2013
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An identity thief just became the largest identity theft scammer in the history of Missouri state prosecution.
Terry Lee Morrow, Jr. is charged with 17 felonies relating to a $1 million car loan fraud scheme that spanned two states.
According to a news release from Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster, Morrow owned an auto dealership which used the personal financial information of customers in order to forge fraudulent car loans. These fraudulent car loans were then sold to automotive finance companies that paid Morrow in exchange for the rights to collect on the loans.
Nanci Gonder, Press Secretary at the Missouri Attorney General’s Office, told loans.org that 44 identity theft victims have been identified thus far.
Law enforcement was tipped off to Morrow’s criminal enterprise when a former customer noticed a false car loan on her credit report. She reported the inaccuracy which led law enforcement officials to investigate the matter.
Prior to the investigation, Morrow has relocated from Missouri to Illinois where he repeated the scam using a new dealership. After a second customer discovered a fraudulent auto loan on his credit report he alerted the Cortland Police Department and DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office, who then apprehended Morrow. Gonder explained that Morrow “was in the process of leaving Illinois when he was arrested.” Additionally, she said, “we have reason to believe that he intended to continue his scam.”
In the course of the investigation, law enforcement discovered over $1 million in fraudulent car loans that were sold to finance companies in exchange for $470,000.
It remains ambiguous as to whether or not Morrow’s dealership employees and staff had a hand in the ongoing scam.
“From a general standpoint, Morrow had the most significant role in the day-to-day operation of his dealerships; however, we are not in a position at this point to release information about any cooperating witnesses or other potential targets of our investigation,” said Gonder.
If convicted, Morrow could face life in prison.