A Lake Mary, Florida teen was sentenced to more than three years federal prison time this week for his role in the identity theft of Kim Kardashian. But it is his bold efforts to victimize and collect personal data on a former FBI director and the First Lady Michelle Obama that is most concerning. And the Sun Sentinel reported on Jan. 31 that Luis Flores actually succeeded in changing some information in 2013 on a Chase Bank credit card which had been issued to then-FBI Director Robert Mueller.
And the federal law enforcement leader only learned about it via an email sent to him on June 15 of last year, which notified him that a change to his bank charge account had been made. And that change was to delete Mueller's name and address and supplant them with Flores' own name and Lake Mary apartment location. And the nation's top lawman was in the dark until he received that email from Chase.
Kim Kardashian might never have known her accounts were violated either if American Express had not reported suspicious activity on a number of accounts to the U.S. Secret Service, which prompted an investigation. And who knows what kind of charges the First Lady and Joe Biden might have ended up having made to their accounts if American Express had not done that.
Luis Flores, Jr., 19, was not alone in his efforts to target and hack the personal data of celebrities and politicians which also included Paris Hilton in addition to Ashton Kutcher, Kris Jenner, Beyonce and even the Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden, and the First Lady Michelle Obama. But he got his start thanks to a website hackers launched last year. And he took it from there.
It was an audacious scheme, and one which was not deterred even after police searched his apartment and found a flash drive with personal data on a number of celebrities.
Flores' mother Kyah Green, 41, was also charged and sentenced in the case for her role in covering up her son's crimes, according to a report from Orlando's WESH. And for that she received three years probation and has to make restitution for the money she withdrew from his bank ATM after the thefts.
Fraudulent wire transfers was this particular identity thief's method of removing money from celebrity bank accounts. And he accomplished it by successfully contacting banks to change the primary social security numbers or names on the card holders accounts, as well as the address, so that he could then ask for cards to be reissued and sent to his home address for use. And the banks all did it.
This Lake Mary, Fla. teen was actively seeking to defraud some of the most famous and powerful individuals in the country. And what kind of person thinks he can get away with that type of crime? And what kind of criminal continues his criminal activities after police have searched his home? A foolish one, of course.
Prevent yourself from falling victim to identity theft and these other common scams and frauds the FBI and others are warning the public about, so you don't lose money like Kim Kardashian and her mother Kris Jenner did.
National Criminal Profiles Examiner Radell Smith has a degree in criminal justice and behavioral forensics.