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8 charged in Social Security identity theft case

8 charged in Social Security identity theft case

March 27, 2019 06:31 PM

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WHEC) -- A 16-month-long investigation into an identity theft case led to the arrest of multiple people Tuesday and Wednesday. 

According to state police, Social Security numbers were stolen from children as young as 11 years old. 

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On Nov. 27, 2017, state police received a suspicious report of activity from the New York State Intelligence Center that Social Security numbers were being used by different assigned names. 

The New York State Police Special Investigations Unit (SIU) Buffalo and Office of the Inspector General of the federal Social Security Administration (OIG SSA) began a joint investigation into the matter. 

It was later revealed that 49-year-old Darrius Outling, of Buffalo, illegally obtained Social Security numbers belonging to juveniles living throughout the country. Outling then sold the Social Security numbers to multiple people who used them to fraudulently obtain credit to purchase cars, jewelry, appliances, and open credit cards.

Outling was charged with identity theft and scheme to defraud. 

Seven others have been charged in relation to this case. 

The names and charges are as follows: 

  • Robert Johnson Jr., 33 of Buffalo, NY, charged with identity theft, scheme to defraud, grand larceny, criminal possession of a forged instrument. 
  • Michael Ramsey, 55 of Buffalo, NY, charged with identity theft and scheme to defraud. 
  • Evelyn Pratcher, 47 of Amherst, NY, charged with identity theft and scheme to defraud. 
  • Cynthia Lockwood, 53 of Buffalo, NY, charged with identity theft and scheme to defraud. 
  • Robert Johnson Sr., 54 of Buffalo, NY, charged with identity theft and scheme to defraud. 
  • Audrey Garnett, 58 of Buffalo, NY, charged with identity theft and scheme to defraud. 
  • Andrew Bostic, 56 of Buffalo, NY, charged with identity theft. 

Parents can protect their children's Social Security number by locking or freezing their credit with the three major credit bureaus:

Equifax
Equifax.com
800-685-1111

Experian
Experian.com/help
888-EXPERIAN (888-397-3742)

Transunion
TransUnion.com
888-909-8872 

WHECTV

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