Karyn Sinunu, Assistant District Attorney   CONTACT PERSONS:
James Sibley, REACT Task Force Project Director
(408) 792-2823 Bud Frank, Deputy Attorney General
Special Crimes Unit
(415) 703-1372       For release on March 2, 2005   GUILTY VERDICTS FOR ID THEFT RINGLEADERS   The three ringleaders of a large-scale identity theft ring were convicted on February 28, 2205, following a month long jury trial. David Plunkett, Courtland Bivens, and Taurice Jordan were charged in a 46 count complaint alleging conspiracy to commit identity theft and grand theft as well as allegation of stealing access cards, making counterfeit access cards, using counterfeit access cards, possession of counterfeiting equipment, and possession of stolen property. Five other members of the ring have already pleaded guilty. Plunkett, convicted of 37 felony counts, faces up to 26 years in state prison. Bivens, convicted of 36 felony counts, faces up to 25 years, 4 months state prison. Jordan, convicted of 32 felony counts, faces up to 26 years, 8 months, including 4 years for committing these offenses while out on bail. Deputy Attorney General Bud Frank, assigned from the Attorney General’s Special Crimes Unit to the REACT Task Force prosecuted the case. REACT is one of five high-tech task forces operating in California overseen by and partially funded by the Office of Emergency Services.   The investigation by Detective Ken Munson of San Jose Police Department’s High Tech Crimes Unit uncovered a large scale Identity Theft ring which recruited waitresses to “skim” customers’ credit cards into portable storage devices, and used the information to manufacture counterfeit cards. Those counterfeit cards were used in conjunction with counterfeit driver’s licenses to fraudulently obtain goods and services. Losses from the ring’s activities are believed to approach $100,000 with dozens of separate victims. Hundreds of customers of the downtown San Jose Tied House, Milpitas Dave & Busters, and Max’s in Belmont potentially had their credit card information compromised. Judge Jerome Brock of the Santa Clara County Superior Court will sentence the defendants on March 24, 2005.   # # #

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