LSP: Nearly two dozen people arrested for stealing the identities of 121 children

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NEW ORLEANS – In early 2019, multiple agencies conducted a large joint investigation into a group of individuals who were using a Mandeville resident’s stolen identity to purchase a vehicle.

During the early stages of the investigation, investigators uncovered an affiliation between Joshua Blaise, Charles Roy, and Tanya Ward, as operators of Fresh Start Financial. The preliminary investigation into the business revealed that the arrested subjects had purchased and were in possession of high value luxury vehicles acquired via stolen and false identifiers.

In furtherance of the investigation, agents were able to execute six search warrants at various locations on the morning of April 30, 2019. During these warrants, investigators located and recovered seven stolen vehicles, three all-terrain vehicles, three firearms, various narcotics, approximately $2,000 and multiple counterfeit state identification cards. Agents also seized multiple computers and cellular phones for processing.

As a result of evidence seized and information gathered at various times throughout the lengthy investigation, agents determined that members of this criminal organization would acquire stolen or unassigned Social Security Numbers and attach a fictitious name to it.

A profile around this new identity would be assumed using an address for a local house for sale which was use as the address of residence. Fake payroll stubs, utility bills, fictitious names and stolen addresses would then be used to apply for credit through various retailers and banks in order to begin building a credit history and profile.

A third party would then be paid to attach this developing Social Security Number and identity to their credit card account under an authorized user in order to boost the credit rating of the identity. Once the identity was established and had a respectable credit score, the credit profile was either used or sold to commit fraud. 

Armed with this information, agents executed approximately 60 search warrants to include electronic devices, email accounts, business records, cellular phone records, and credit reports.

The execution of these warrants exposed approximately 121 children’s identities that had been stolen and used to create synthetic identities which were then re-sold to willing customers of Fresh Start Financial in order to commit fraud.

This led to the discovery of approximately another 13 vehicles stolen via fraud and recovered by the LSP-IFAT-NFO. Agents also identified approximately 24 associates of Fresh Start Financial who purchased a stolen identity and used the identity to commit various crimes.

Agents conducted 121 victim notifications to the families of the juvenile victims, spanning all the way from Alaska to various states along the east coast.

This included investigators working with each victim’s family to identify the breach of their child’s information, obtaining credit reports, identifying fraudulent transactions, and disputing said transactions.

As of June 26, 2020, the LSP-IFAT-NFO has received confirmation from the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office they would be seeking an indictment against Ward and Roy for racketeering regarding the criminal enterprise they operated under Fresh Start Financial and the predicated offenses of: identity theft, and injuring public records/filing or maintaining false public records.

LSP-IFAT-NFO has conservatively estimated the potential fraud loss amount to $1,000,000.00 from the activities of this organization.

The following individuals were arrested as part of this operation:

  • 42-year-old Tanya Ward
    • one count of bank fraud, one count of forgery, two counts of computer fraud, one count of monetary instrument abuse, two counts of theft of a motor vehicle, 32 counts of identity theft, one count of possession of a Schedule I narcotic, 74 counts of unlawful production, manufacturing, or distribution of fraudulent documents, one count of insurance fraud, and one count of injuring public records
  • 31-year-old Charles Roy
    • two counts of bank fraud, two counts of forgery, one count of computer fraud, one count of monetary instrument abuse, four counts of theft of a motor vehicle, two counts of identity theft, one count of insurance fraud, two counts of injuring public records, four counts related to fugitive warrants
  • 23-year-old Erin Alonzo
    • fugitive from Orleans Parish for second degree murder
  • 28-year-old Joshua Blaise
    • one count of idenity theft
  • 26-year-old Jermaine Toussaint
    • two counts of bank fraud, two counts of forgery, two counts of computer fraud, two counts of theft of a motor vehicle, two counts of identity theft, and two counts of injuring public records
  • 24-year-old Carldell Marshal
    • one count of carrying of a firearm by a convicted felon, fugitive warrant
  • 30-year-old Chloe Singleton
    • multiple fugitve warrants, one count of bank fraud, one count of forgery, one count of computer fraud, one count of theft of a motor vehicle, one count of identity theft, one count of pwit of a schedule i narcotic, and one count of possession of a schedule iv narcotic
  • 24-year-old Shaquille Florant
    • one count of bank fraud, one count of forgery, one count of computer fraud, one count of monetary instrument abuse, one count of theft of a motor vehicle, one count of identity theft, and a fugitive warrant
  • 42-year-old Torron Wilson
    • one count of principle to identity theft, one count of principle to bank fraud, one count of principle to theft of a motor vehicle, one count of principle to computer fraud
  • 34-year-old Terrell Perkins
    • one count of bank fraud, one count of identity theft, and one count of carrying of a firearm by a convicted felon
  • 38-year-old Kimberly Gentry
    • one count of theft of a motor vehicle, and one count of unlawful production, manufacturing, or distribution of fraudulent documents
  • 36-year-old Dsean Young
    • one count of bank fraud, one count of computer fraud, one count of theft of a motor vehicle, one count of identity theft, and one count of injuring public records
  • 36-year-old Kendra Walker
    • fugitive from Pearl River and Jefferson Parish
  • 24-year-old Jasmine Ceaser
    • one count of bank fraud, one count of computer fraud, one count of theft of a motor vehicle, one count of identity theft, and one count of unlawful production, manufacturing, or distribution of fraudulent documents
  • 25-year-old Elmira Fobbs
    • one count of unlawful production, manufacturing, or distribution of fraudulent documents
  • 29-year-old Shanequa Henry
    • one count of unlawful production, manufacturing, or distribution of fraudulent documents
  • 26-year-old Johnnisha Matthews
    • two counts of identity theft, one count of computer fraud, one count of unlawful production, manufacturing, or distribution of fraudulent documents
  • 26-year-old Pauline Peters
    • one count of identity theft, and one count of computer fraud
  • 44-year-old Ladell Eurings
    • three counts of theft and three counts of identity theft
  • 31-year-old Daijonia Hopson
    • one count of computer fraud, and one count of identity theft
  • 25-year-old Raymoniqua Johnson
    • one count of identity theft at large
  • 32-year-old Courtney Griffith
    • one count of computer fraud, one count of identity theft, and one count of bank fraud at large

The Louisiana State Police Insurance Fraud/Auto theft unit is responsible for investigating referrals of suspected fraudulent insurance acts. Anyone having information concerning persons staging vehicle crashes or committing other forms of insurance fraud should contact Louisiana State Police Insurance Fraud/Auto Theft unit at 504-310-7000.

If you have any information concerning the whereabouts of Courtney Griffith, contact the Louisiana State Police Insurance Fraud/ Auto Theft Unit or local law enforcement officials in your area.

This case was a joint investigation involving the following agencies:

  • Louisiana State Police Insurance Fraud/Auto Theft Unit New Orleans Field Office (LSP-IFAT-NFO)
  • Office of Inspector General
  • St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s (STPSO)
  • Homeland Security Investigations New Orleans Field Office (HSI)
  • Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office Auto Theft Unit (JPSO)

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