COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The Colorado Springs Police Department is looking for 14 people who it says are part of a racketeering ring that stole $42,000 from Ent and Security Service credit unions.
Police said the organization recruited people to open accounts using their own identities. Once the accounts were open, the organizers had the recruits deposit stolen checks to artificially inflate the account balances.
Police said the recruits gave new debit cards to the organizers, who then used the cards to make ATM withdrawals of the funds before the credit unions could process the stolen checks through the Federal Reserve System. In most cases the recruited persons were compensated, police said.
Police also learned that the group's organizers laundered the ATM money through vehicle purchases and failed to register the vehicles with the state.
Larry Herbert, a police spokesman, said the scheme threatens not only the credit unions but customers as well.
"It does involve identity theft quite a bit," he said. "People should be aware that they need to monitor their credit reports to ensure their information is safe."
CLICK HERE to view the names of the 14 people who are wanted in connection to this investigation, as well as their pictures and the charges they are facing.
Call Colorado Springs Police at 719-444-7000 or Crime Stoppers at 719-634-STOP (7867) if you have any information.