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Post date: January 19 2016

A.G. Schneiderman Announces Second Indictment Of NYC Man On Identity Theft Charges

Sharif King Allegedly Pretended to Hire Prospective Employee to Obtain Personal Information, Then Used Stolen Identity to Purchase $58K Vehicle

Schneiderman: My Office Will Keep Fighting To Protect New Yorkers from Identity Thieves

NEW YORK – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the indictment of Sharif King, 30, of Manhattan, for allegedly stealing the identity of a prospective employee and then fraudulently buying a $58,000 2015 Mercedes Benz.  King is charged in New York County on a 15-count indictment with Grand Larceny, Criminal Possession of Stolen Property, Identity Theft, Forgery, and Falsifying Business Records. In June 2015, King was arrested by the Attorney General’s office in New York County, charging him with Scheme to Defraud and multiple counts of Identity Theft and Grand Larceny, in relation to a similar identity theft scheme.

“Identity thieves are constantly coming up with new and creative ways to target and take advantage of victims,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “I urge all New Yorkers to exercise caution when disclosing sensitive personal information and report when they have been the victim of a scam. My office will keep fighting to protect hardworking New Yorkers from being preyed upon by identity thieves.”

According to the indictment and statements made by prosecutors at arraignment, in December 2014, King claimed to run a bus company called “Upstate Family Transport, LLC” and interviewed a candidate for a purported bus driver job.  At the interview, King allegedly directed the prospective employee to give King his driver’s license, social security card and passport as part of the hiring process.  King then allegedly made copies of those documents, but did not hire the individual.  Less than six months later, it is charged that King impersonated the individual and used his identifying information to finance and purchase a $58,000 2015 Mercedes Benz Sprinter passenger van from a dealership in North Carolina. 

King was previously charged by the Attorney General in June 2015 for a similar identity theft scheme, in which he allegedly posted job opportunities for his purported record label “Dower Music Entertainment, LLC.”  After he invited applicants to an interview, under the pretext of reimbursing their expenses and putting them on the payroll, King allegedly requested personal identifying information from employees. King then allegedly used the stolen personal information to open credit cards and apply for a $29,000 loan.  At the time of his arrest on the first indictment, King was driving the stolen Mercedes Benz Sprinter.

King was arraigned today before the Honorable Neil Ross in New York County Supreme Court. The 15-count indictment charges King with one count of Grand Larceny in the Second Degree (a class C felony), one count of Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Second Degree (a class C felony), one count of Identity Theft in the First Degree (a class D felony), six counts of Forgery in the Second Degree (a class D felony), and six counts of Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree (a class E felony).  King is currently being held on bail on in the amount of $250,000 bond or cash.  If convicted of all charges, King faces a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison.  The Attorney General’s investigation remains ongoing. 

The charges against King are allegations and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Michael Hendrick and Senior Investigative Counsel Nina Sas with the assistance of Legal Analyst Jonathan Hofman of the Criminal Enforcement and Financial Crimes Bureau’s Auto Insurance Fraud Unit. The Criminal Enforcement and Financial Crimes Bureau is led by Bureau Chief Gary T. Fishman and Deputy Bureau Chief Stephanie Swenton. The Attorney General's Criminal Justice Division is led by Executive Deputy Attorney General Kelly Donovan.

The investigation was handled by Investigators Brian Maher, Nicholas Vazeos, Adrian Klapper, and Severino Concordia, Investigators Natalie Shifrin and Edward Keegan, and Deputy Chief of Investigations Leonard D’Alessandro of the Auto Insurance Fraud Unit. The Investigations Division is led by Bureau Chief Dominick Zarrella.