Indiana State Excise Police serve warrants in identify theft probe
After more than a dozen raids, a hundred warrants and more than a million dollars seized, the numbers that really matter here are yours. Indiana State Excise Police went on the offensive Monday against identity theft and stolen Social Security numbers.
An 18-month investigation led to raids of Mexican restaurants in Batesville, Lawrenceburg, Rising Sun, Aurora and Versailles and residences in Lawrenceburg, Lafayette and Batesville and a tax preparation service location in Greenwood. While there were no arrests, investigators went to the Greenwood office to seize records.
Officers spent the day hauling boxes out of Custom Business and Tax Solutions office in Greenwood. The raid was part of a much bigger picture.
"Today we already are arresting up to 108 people for identity theft and corrupt business influence and then, based on the evidence collected from those 13 locations today, after that is processed we will see what additional charges are warranted," said Travis Thickstun, Indiana Excise Police.
Investigators will be sifting through materials looking for evidence of money laundering, identity theft, theft, perjury and forgery. They have also confiscated over $1.6 million so far in the raids.
Eyewitness News Investigative reporter Bob Segall has explored the problem of identity theft in a series that aired just last February. In it, he highlighted the problem that has haunted young Adam Brackin since he was born.
Eyewitness News spent weeks trying to track down the man who stole Brackin's identity: 38-year-old Marco Lopez who so far has managed to stay one step ahead of us and police.
Check your own or your child's credit here to determine if there is a problem with identity theft.
This Excise Police investigation has been ongoing for the last 18 months.
"We are enforcement for Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms division. Our officers investigating one of these locations that sells alcohol, came across some documents that led him to do further investigation that led to the result today," said Thickstun.
The following businesses were searched, along with homes in Lawrenceburg, Lafayette and Batesville:
Acapulco #6 Mexican Restaurant, 1044 State Road 229 North, Batesville, Ind.
Acapulco #3 Mexican Restaurant, 301 Margaret Street, Lawrenceburg, Ind.
Acapulco #5 Mexican Restaurant, 147-149 Main Street, Rising Sun, Ind.
Acapulco #8 Mexican Restaurant, 301 North 2nd Street, Aurora, Ind.
Acapulco #11 Mexican Restaurant, 1006 South Adams Street, Versailles, Ind.
Other agencies involved in the investigation are: the Dearborn County Special Crimes Unit, Dearborn County Sheriff's Office, Lawrenceburg Police Department and the Indiana Department of Revenue.