Sunday, June 5, 2016

Bikini model busted in $2.6M ID theft scam

Patricia-Perez-Gonzalez, Alberto Companioni
A bikini model and her boyfriend​,​ who operated an identity theft ring that racked up $2.6 million in fraudulent charges to bankroll their lavish lifestyle​,​ looked ​prison drab as they appeared in Manhattan Supreme Court.
The pair opened more than 40 American Express Platinum cards using their victims’ stolen personal information over a two-year period. The duo flew to New York, California and Hawaii, dined at pricey restaurants and blew thousands at Hermes, Burberry, Louis Vuitton.

A bikini model and her boyfriend lived large, while assuming other people's identities, racking up $2.6 million to fund expensive trips and shopping binges. Patricia Perez-Gonzalez, 26, and her boyfriend, Alberto Companioni, 31, face charges of grand larceny and identity theft.

Police say the Miami-based couple used the IDs of 40 people - mostly seniors - to open American Express credit card accounts. The pair took expensive trips to New York, California and Hawaii. They shopped at high-end stores and partied like rock stars at top clubs. They also bought Apple electronics with their fraudulent credit cards and resold those overseas. Search warrants at the couple's Miami home uncovered dozens of credit cards in victims' names, forged identification and licences, a credit card encoder, blank credit cards, as well as merchandise including a Rolex watch, racing bikes, ski gear, Chanel bags, and designer clothing.
Perez-Gonzalez regularly submitted sexy photos of herself to Maxim magazine's Twitter feed. Among the multiple charges the pair face are grand larceny and identity theft. A conviction for grand larceny in the second degree, for example, carries a sentence of between five to 15 years in prison.