Thirty-four people were indicted yesterday in connection with a multimillion-dollar identity theft ring based out of Staten Island that victimized 27 banks and 60 individuals, including 20 soldiers stationed at Fort Hood, announced Richmond County DA Daniel Donovan and NYPD Chief Ray Kelly.
The investigation uncovered a “nationwide confederacy of scam artists” — mostly Nigerians living in Staten Island — that stole more than $2 million in the two years since the investigation began, Donovan said.
They preyed upon military members at Fort Hood, Texas — some bound for Iraq or Afghanistan — at the time of last November’s shooting.
Officials said the group called BRO — named for its leaders, Kazeem Badru, Ganiu Rilwan and Okoronkwo Okechukwu — would steal personal information through mail theft and other methods to gain access to checking, credit card and investment accounts.
“It takes a certain kind of detached cruelty to victimize people in this way,” Kelly told reporters.