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(NECN: Deanna Morgan, Boston) – The man Boston Police say is behind a major crime ring heads to court Friday morning. He’s accused of stealing identities from customers who shopped at his Boston store.
Authorities say it took an extensive undercover operation on their part to bring this criminal operation down.
“We’ve taken a dangerous criminal off the street. The investigation is ongoing. More arrests are anticipated,” said Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis.
They don’t know yet how many more arrests or the total number of victims, but they have their ringleader, 36-year-old Shahab Yousheei, and an extensive amount of evidence to support their case.
“In many ways, this case illustrates the new face of crime, one that uses computers as the weapon of choice, one that robs people of their identities and their financial information instead of just their possessions,” said Attorney General Martha Coakley.
AG Coakley described Yousheei’s crime ring tactics in fine detail. In one scheme, she said he would use stolen or fraudulent identities to open new cell phone accounts, then give the information to runners who would go and obtain smartphones and other electronics at a discount from stores across the state. The runners would bring the electronics back to Yousheei. Then, he’d sell them from his store here in downtown crossing.
Yousheei’s other scheme was stealing people’s identities and credit card numbers.
“He would use those credit cards to purchase merchandise or gift cards and then he would re-sell that merchandise for a profit,” Coakley said.
And, there’s more. The Attorney General says just hours before Yousheei was arrested, he allegedly accepted and bought thousands of dollars of counterfeit money. This was how he funded his crime operation.