Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online

At-large janitor wanted in identity-theft ring

March 26, 2010
EVANSTON, IL — A janitor working the night shift at the Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation''s offices is accused of stealing more than 250 patient files, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Tijuana Leonard, a janitor for Millard Cleaning Service who is one of three individuals wanted on felony warrants, used the personal information she supposedly stole with the help of her two sisters and friends to charge more than $300,000 in jewelry, furniture, appliances and electronics, the story stated.
According to authorities, the individuals boasted their purchases in Facebook photos that showed them flashing shiny jewelry while eating at Ruth''s Chris Steakhouse in their brand-name outfits — the tags still attached.
The individuals, seven of whom have already been arrested as a result of "Operation Quick Charge," a five-month investigation headed by the Cook County Sheriff''s Financial Crimes Unit with assistance from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and multiple suburban police departments, used the personal information to open credit accounts at retailers or add their names to victims'' accounts — often charging as much as $5,000 at a time, the story noted.
Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart, who describes the situation as a "sophisticated identity-theft ring," said: "They had it down to a science. They performed it like a job. It was a simple plot, but it was well thought-out and well-executed. They just got sloppy. This is another example of why all of us need to be concerned about identity theft."
A tipping point was reach when investigators began noticing that many of the victims saw doctors on floors 19-21 of the medical facility and narrowed the search down to Leonard, the janitor assigned to those floors, the story added.
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