(PIX11) — Members of an identity theft ring accused of stealing personal information from Saks Fifth Avenue customers to purchase luxury goods for resale on the black market have been indicted, officials said Monday.
The alleged robbers include four Saks Fifth Avenue sales associates and a ringleader who provided them with Social Security numbers and birthdays of more than 20 store credit card holders.
Tamara Williams, 36, Kriss Rockson, 45, Jason Chance, 25, Alaia Harrison, 20, and Michael Knight-Williams, 44, allegedly purchased approximately $400,000 in luxury goods from Saks’ Midtown flagship store.
The stolen goods included hundreds of handbags and shoes from designer brands including Chanel, Valentino, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and more.
Williams, the accused ringleader in the scheme, provided personal information to sales associates Rockson, Chance, Harrison and Knight-Williams. The associates would use the stolen information to purchase luxury goods selected by Williams, the Manhattan District Attorney reported.
In some cases, sales associates gave the fraudulently-purchased merchandise to a group of “shoppers” that impersonated Saks account holders. The “shoppers” allegedly gave the stolen merchandise to Williams in various places in Queens, including hair salons and gas stations. The luxury items were then sold on the black market.
Shoppers were sometimes instructed to exchange stolen goods for gift cards, which were resold for a profit or used as payment to the shoppers.
Evidence shows no physical credit cards were ever presented. Credit card information was entered manually into the system by the sales associates who processed the transactions. There were also instances where customers were not at checkout during the purchases.
The five members of the theft ring were charged with grand larceny, attempted grand larceny, identity theft, attempted identity theft, criminal possession of stolen property, and unlawful possession of personal identification information.