DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Daytona Beach police say a group of seven people stole the identities of elderly people across the state to get cars and money.
Police Chief Jakari Young said there may be more than 70 victims.
Investigators said $350,000 of the money the group got ahold of went toward buying vehicles. They also said the suspects opened bank accounts and took out loans.
Young said the group used the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles’ website to commit the fraud.
Police said once they changed the victim’s address online, they would create new IDs with the suspect’s real photo and address and use the victim’s name.
Jennifer Polgar fought back tears standing before a judge Friday afternoon. She is one of the seven people officers said stole the identities of elderly South Florida residents to take out COVID-19 relief loans, create bank accounts and buy hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of Kia cars between July and September of last year.
Investigators have arrested Polgar and Drayton McMillan so far.
“For these suspects to prey specifically on our elderly, two of which are deceased, is just reprehensible,” Young said.
Officers said the group used fake IDs to open up lines of credit when they bought the vehicles.
Investigators first found out about the scheme after a Delray Beach man reported someone used his identity to buy a car in Daytona Beach.
Detectives said they are not sure how the group got their hands on the victims’ personal information, and they don’t believe someone within the state agency helped.
“We will share no expense,” Young said. “We will leave no stone unturned as we continue and move forward in this investigation.”
Police are not sure how the group got together, but they said some of the suspects are related.
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