Authorities raid massive identity theft ring

Author: Annie Bishop, KXLY4 Reporter , annieb@kxly.com
Published On: Oct 11 2012 08:30:23 AM PDT   Updated On: Oct 11 2012 06:35:04 PM PDT
Forgery Bust
SPOKANE, Wash. -

The Spokane County Sheriff's Office and federal agents executed multiple search warrants in Spokane as part of a crackdown on a massive identity theft ring.

Police raided five homes today from the South Hill to North Spokane in the takedown of the ring, in which authorities believe there could be as many as 300 victims.

The investigation into this ring started in September and by Thursday morning detectives had enough evidence to execute several search warrants.

Spokane County Sheriff's Deputy Craig Chamberlin said the scope of this investigation spans several states and involves several law enforcement agencies including the Secret Service, Social Security Administration and the U.S. Postal Service.

Chamberlain said the thieves stole more than $100,000 by opening up accounts and credit cards in other people's names. The number of victims could grow as they dig deeper into this identity theft ring.

"We may very well have victims who don't even know they are victims yet. So we are here doing this investigation, trying to locate more victims, trying to find any evidence that can help determine who these victims are, and mainly determining how Mr. Clark is obtaining these victims identification. Right now we don't know how he's doing that," Chamberlin said.

Michael Clark, 24, is in custody and has been charged with four counts of forgery, one count of third degree theft and one count of money laundering.