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ID theft, bank fraud investigation nets 7 arrests

Authorities released these booking photos of suspects in an identity theft and bank fraud case. Top row (left to right): Deon Callis, Ken Trapp; Bottom row (left to right): Larry Mohhamed, Mauris Thompson, Leo Bardo Cantu

August 28, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Federal and local officials have arrested seven people for identity theft and bank fraud estimated to be in the tens of millions of dollars.

Authorities said last Tuesday's arrests followed a year-long investigation. A majority of the victims are from California and Washington state.

The suspects would use fake driver's licenses to steal as much as $35,000 from a victim's bank account a day, according to investigators. Social Security cards and credit cards were also used as identification.

The crimes occurred inside bank branches all over the U.S. Officials seized several hundred thousand dollars in cash, jewelry and high-end cars. Major leads in the investigation came from the help of investigators at Chase Bank, Bank of America, and US Bank.

Authorities released the names and photos of five people who were arrested, including Deon Callis of Playa del Rey, who is believed to be the head of one of the rings; Larry Mohhamed of South Los Angeles; Ken Trapp of South Los Angeles, who is believed to be the head of another ring; Mauris Thompson, who was arrested in Indiana; and Leo Bardo Cantu of Bell, who is suspected of making fake IDs.

There are several more outstanding suspects. Anyone with information about the theft ring was asked to call the Huntington Beach Police Department at (714) 960-8848.