Synthetic Fraudsters Go On Buying Spree for 90 Cars

Arsenio Stanley Pierre and Marcus Darren Ginyard decided to go on a shopping spree for cars after creating synthetic identities that they thought were foolproof.  They tried to carry out an extravagant scheme using fraudulent social security numbers, drivers licenses and employer information to illegally buy dozens of vehicles and attempting to buy 90 more vehicles illegally. In all, they successfully financed 37 cars and attempted 90 thefts in total.   They attempted to steal over $3 million in cars with synthetic identities which caused losses of $1.2 million to the lenders and dealerships impacted.

The Bonnie and Clyde Synthetic team were shut down by the Orange County Vehicle Theft Task Force and the Secret Service.

The Investigation Began in December 2018 in Synthetic Identity Fraud

In December of 2018, the Secret Service and various other agencies launched investigations into the pair as vehicle theft reports began to roll in.  The Orange County Vehicle Task Force and Secret Service teamed up when they learned that they were both investigating the same cases.

Arsenio Pierre and Marcus Ginyard are worked together to fraudulently purchase 37 newer high-end vehicles.  They bought Maseratis, BMW’s and other valuable cars.  They purchased the cars using fabricated synthetic identities which are often created by using real and fake information to create new credit files.

The fraudulent information used to purchase each of the cars included California driver licenses, out-of-state driver licenses, social security numbers, pay stubs, utility bills, and/or cell phone bills.

They used their real names and Dates of Birth, along with fraudulent social security numbers, fraudulent employers, and income information, to purchase half of the vehicles. Pierre and Ginyard are also accused of purchasing the remaining half of the vehicles using fictitious profiles of individuals who do not exist. The majority of the fraudulent social security numbers used belonged to children since they believed it would help them escape detection.

The Orange County Vehicle Task Force (OCATT) Is Doing Great Work

OCATT’s collaborative approach, which allows law enforcement to assist in investigations with allied jurisdictions, has resulted in a 55 percent decrease in auto theft in Orange County since the task force was created in 1993.

OCATT is a multi-jurisdictional law enforcement program comprised of personnel from the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, California Highway Patrol, Orange County Sheri ff’s Department, National Insurance Crime Bureau, Department of Motor Vehicles – Investigations Unit, Brea Police Department, Buena Park Police Department, Fullerton Police Department, and Tustin Police Department.

More than 30 cities across Orange County participate in OCATT.

Investigators work to identify career auto theft criminals and investigate suspicious businesses by searching for “chop shop” activity. OCATT investigates sophisticated auto theft rings that are not related to common car thefts. The task force documents various trends of auto theft including Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) switches, title washing, and rental car fraud, trains local law enforcement to identify these trends and uses digital media to create public awareness and communicate tips to the public preventing auto theft.

In 2018, OCATT initiated 309 investigations, assisted agencies in 713 investigations, and recovered 251 stolen vehicles valued at more than $3.5 million.

Frank McKenna is the Chief Fraud Strategist for PointPredictive and a Fraud Consultant based in San Diego California