Federal investigators believe 120 people involved in fraud ring

The U.S. Attorney’s office has recently been busy processing numerous white-collar criminal charges against what they claim is a large identity theft ring. While no one from the office will comment on the charges or the supposed 120 people involved in the identity fraud, only eight people have been formally charged.

Several of the people facing criminal charges for identity theft, money laundering and bank fraud have pled guilty, according to the Star Tribune. Although this could indicate that they are admitting their guilt, other sources indicate that many of the suspects who have pled guilty have also agreed to help federal investigators, indicating they may receive a reduced sentence for their assistance.

The first of the suspects to have pled guilty was a 31-year-old woman from St. Paul. She pled guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering in September after prosecutors said she used falsified identification and counterfeit checks to purchase items and then return them for cash.

Federal investigators have been looking into the supposed criminal ring and believe that there could be 120 people involved. They have also said the alleged money laundering and other activities may now be in at least 12 states.

A few of the people who have been charged in this supposed criminal enterprise have chosen to plead guilty in exchange for helping federal investigators. While this is certainly a difficult decision to make, it should only be done after considerable consultation with a criminal defense attorney. Blindly entering a plea deal because you believe you will get a reduced sentence can be extremely dangerous without an attorney by your side, explaining your options and protecting your Constitutional rights.

Source: Star Tribune, “Big Twin Cities ID theft ring unmasked,” Dan Browning, Jan .9, 2012

Max Keller has won countless jury trial cases involving misdemeanors and felonies, sex crimes, and DWI’s. He is a member of the Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice, which only allows the top 50 criminal defense attorneys in the state as members. Max is a frequent speaker at CLE’s and is often asked for advice by other defense attorneys across Minnesota.

Years of Experience: Approx. 20 years
Minnesota Registration Status: Active
Bar & Court Admissions: State of Minnesota Minnesota State Court Minnesota Federal Court 8th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals State of Maryland

What to Do If You Have Been Charged with a Criminal Offense

Confidential informants may provide integral information to help build criminal investigations, but how reliable is that information when they are receiving payment for their services? To protect them, state law requires the identity of informants be kept confidential. For those facing criminal charges, however, this creates challenges in questioning the accuracy and validity of the information given at trial.
Stay calm and compose after getting accused of a crime but not charged in Minneapolis, MN. Do not discuss the facts of your case with anyone, including your relatives and family members. Hire a criminal defense attorney with a demonstrated record of winning cases like yours. Your attorney will discuss your rights, guide you on how to cooperate with law enforcement within the legal boundaries, and build a solid defense strategy to fight the charges you could face in the future.
Expungement and sealing of records in Minnesota affect how your criminal history appears to government agencies and the public. The main difference between the two legal actions is that expungement permanently removes past arrests, criminal charges, or convictions from private and public databases, while sealing hides the criminal record from the public. Courts, government entities, and law enforcement agencies can access sealed criminal records.