Fed chief victim of identity theft
Not even the head of the nation’s top bank is immune from identity theft.
Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke became a victim last summer after a thief stole his wife’s purse with the couple’s joint check book inside, Newsweek reported, citing recently filed court records.
Days after the purse was swiped at a Starbucks on Capitol Hill, someone started cashing checks on the Bernanke family bank account, Newsweek said.
The theft of Bernanke’s check book became part of a wide-ranging identity-theft investigation the by the Secret Service and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
Bernanke was found to be one of hundreds of victims of an elaborate identity-fraud ring, headed by a convicted scam artist known as “Big Head,” that stole more than $2.1 million from consumers and at least 10 financial institutions around the United States, Newsweek reported.
“Identity theft is a serious crime that affects millions of Americans each year,” Bernanke said in a statement provided to Newsweek. “Our family was but one of 500 separate instances traced to one crime ring. I am grateful for the law enforcement officers who patiently and diligently work to solve and prevent these financial crimes.”
The investigation ended in recent months with a series of arrests, criminal complaints, and indictments brought by federal prosecutors in Alexandria, Virginia, Newsweek reported.
Photo credit: Reuters/Yuri Gripas (Bernanke at a congressional hearing in July)