|TRENTON – Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa announced that the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor has obtained a state grand jury indictment charging an Essex County man with stealing and trafficking identities of 15 individuals who had applied for credit at the used car dealership where he worked.
Stuart Simpson, 52, of Newark, was charged on Friday (April 12) with second-degree identity theft and second-degree trafficking in personal identifying information pertaining to another person.
“In today’s world, access to personal identifying information is all too frequently unfettered,” Attorney General Chiesa said. “However, consumers need to be able to have confidence that when they apply for credit, that information won’t be mistreated. This defendant blatantly violated that confidence.”
The indictment alleges that in September 2010, Simpson distributed approximately 74 items of personal identifying information pertaining to 15 separate individuals, including, among other things, copies of driver’s licenses, applications for credit and/or credit reports containing personal identifying information. An investigation determined that the identity profiles corresponded to individuals who had applied for credit at the used–car dealership where Simpson worked.
An undercover investigation by the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor determined that Simpson attempted to sell the identity profiles to a buyer in the parking lot of a restaurant on Route 22 in Union. The “buyer” was actually an undercover detective from the Division of Criminal Justice. Simpson was arrested on March 24, 2011 as a result of the alleged crime and was subsequently released on bail.
Deputy Attorney General T.J. Harker and Sgt. Jarek Pyrzanowski coordinated the investigation. Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Ronald Chillemi thanked the Gangs/Narcotics Unit – Central of the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice for its assistance in the investigation.
The indictment is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Second-degree crimes carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in state prison and a criminal fine of up to $150,000.