Identity Theft Ring in Alachua County Comes to a Halt
More than 30 people are implicated in a massive North Central Florida identity theft ring with charges ranging from forgery to racketeering and theft. Some of those people began appearing in court today.
According to officials, this identity theft ring is a danger to every person in the state of Florida.
Authorities believe 19-year-old Ali Barbour was the ringleader behind the massive identity theft ring. He could serve more than 95 years behind bars on 53 charges including racketeering. Officials also say he made fake payroll checks from his home computer.
Officials with the Alachua County Clerk of Courts say five of the accused appeared in court. Most were either released on their own recognizance or made bail.
Barbour asked the judge to reduce his more than $500,000 bond, but that request was denied. However, he was successful in his request to waive his right to a speedy trial. The judge agreed to continue the trial in 60 days.
Barbour's accomplice, Benita Williams, pleaded not guilty. She was also denied reduction of her $625,000 bail.
One defendant in this case claims the others stole his identity and used it to commit more identity thefts. He spent weeks in jail, but was released today.
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