Updated 05/27/2009 11:46 PM
Two Bronx Men, 16 Others Charged With ID Theft
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Authorities charged 18 suspects with running a massive identity theft ring Wednesday, including two accused ringleaders from the Bronx.
Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau said the two alleged ringleaders of the operation stole personal banking information from about 500 people.
The two Bronx men are accused of hiring so-called "soldiers" who cashed millions in forged checks into separate accounts.
The district attorney's office said as many as 20 bank tellers were also involved in the fraud.
More than 1,000 phony checks were deposited over a two-and-a-half year period, leading to the 227-count indictment.
Morgenthau said there could be more indictments related to this case.
"It's the kind of thing that you just couldn't let run on until you completed the investigation," said Morgenthau. "So we had to move because we had to stop it. But there's a lot more work to be done."
The counterfeit check scheme was busted after a nine-month investigation between the Identity Theft Unit of the district attorney's office and the NYPD's Special Frauds Squad.