Identity theft: More than $3 million spent in 3 months


You have to give this guy credit for being very good at what he did. My mom always told me, "If you're going to bother to do something, make sure you do it well." I bet James Hartman's mom is super proud of him. He stole his brother's identity and spent over $3 million in 3 months with it. On his list of goodies purchased via his brother's identity: A $48,000 pickup truck, a $49,000 pickup truck, two Dodge Durangos for $77,000, a Dodge Viper for $94,000, two ATVs, two houses, and some land. The grand total: $3.2 million.

James Hartman stole Ed Hartman's identity with his social security number and a photocopy of his driver's license. James says his brother approved of all the purchases. Ed says he knew nothing of it until someone called him because they were suspicious of the copy of the driver's license, being used to purchase another toy.

What a wonderful way to honor and love one's family. I've often theorized that family members steal more from their kin than they would from complete strangers. I don't know why, but it's sick. (Yes, this post is dedicated to my "Uncle Louie".)

Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations for her company Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting, and is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud.

Originally published