Shauntell Burg, Andrea Gunderson, Roxanne Deflorin, Kristin Warren
ST. PAUL, Minn. - Four women have been criminally charged in connection with an alleged identity theft ring that involved hundreds of victims.
Prosecutors say the suspects - 32-year-old Shauntell Burg, 49-year-old Roxanne Deflorin, 30-year-old Andrea Gunderson and 40-year-old Kristin Warren - possessed social security numbers, dates of birth and drivers license numbers that belonged to hundreds of people. They say the women used the stolen data to make purchases.
On April 12, 2012 law enforcement personnel from a number of agencies stopped a car they had under surveillance on suspicion of identity fraud and financial transaction car fraud. Inside the vehicle were Shauntell Burg and Andrea Gunderson. When the two were placed under arrest investigators found stolen mail, credit card numbers, business checks and temporary driver's licenses. Further investigation revealed the two had made several purchases with the stolen IDs and credit cards.
Just over a month later a search warrant was executed at a residence where Kristin Warren was staying. She was under investigation in connection with an attempt to pass a forged check. Investigators say Warren had already used additional stolen identities to purchase items in Ramsey County. A search revealed personal information belonging to 200 different individuals, including dates of birth, Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, checks and credit reports.
In Warren's bedroom, authorities uncovered a tote bag with a printout of 155 names and social security numbers belonging to members of the Public Employees Retirement Association of Minnesota (PERA). Investigators also located a USB thumb drive with credit reports including social security numbers and dates of birth of six additional victims.
In August of 2012 multiple law enforcement agencies executed a search warrant on Roxanne Deflorin's St. Paul home where they seized 355 stolen identities. Included in the information was a list of PERA members that matched the list found in Warren's home.
Investigators say they also recovered eight workers compensation claims with the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI). Previous investigation revealed Deflorin as a former DLI employee who accessed the accounts on her work computer. They confiscated two sawed-off shotguns from an upstairs bedroom.
"These individuals caused havoc and great concern for the personal identities of hundreds of hard-working employees and retirees," said Ramsey County Attorney John Choi. "Thanks to the hard work of law enforcement, in particular the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office, these defendants can now be brought to justice."
All four women are charged with identity theft, among other charges. If convicted they could face sentences up to 20 years in prison.
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