Police Pursue Missing Identity Thief

Dennis Faas's picture

Given the influx of phishing scams on the web these days, it seems identity theft is on just about everyone's mind. That's why the story of runaway suspect Alicia O'Hara seems particularly interesting, given that her pursuit has now moved through three international locales.

A warrant for O'Hara charges her with an organized scheme to defraud, and was issued last week. According to the Volusia County Sheriff's Office of Florida, O'Hara is strongly linked to an identity-theft scam that had elements in the United States, England and Canada.

What was the crime?

Authorities want to speak with O'Hara because they feel strongly that she played a central role in a scheme that used customer credit card numbers to make online purchases, from vitamins to computer software. O'Hara was allegedly an integral part of web-based retailer Design Originalz, which police believe gave the suspect her opportunity to acquire the financial information used to make the purchases.

According to the Volusia County Sheriff's Office, the 35-year-old O'Hara and another woman were able to use the credit cards of more than two dozen victims across a pair of continents. (Source: orlandosentinel.com)

On October 5, the other woman -- 39-year-old Alexandra Jacobs -- was arrested by police. O'Hara's partner in Design Originalz, Jacobs was formally charged with 12 counts of criminal use of personal identification and the fraudulent use of credit cards. She was also charged with grand theft and scheme to defraud, and will be arraigned next week.

Ready to be taken into custody with bail set at $13,000, police have struggled to find O'Hara and are looking for the public's support. She's been described by Florida news sources as "white, 5 feet 10 inches tall, 175 pounds with blond hair and brown eyes." Those who see this alleged web criminal are asked to call the Valusia County Sheriff's Office at 386-668-3830 or Crime Stoppers of Northeast Florida at 888-277-TIPS. (Source: news-journalonline.com)

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