by Anneli Rufus
Berkeley's Daniel Armstrong, aka Maurice Shabazz, was sentenced last month to 57 months imprisonment after admitting his role in a busy identity-theft ring.
According to a US Justice Department report, Armstrong and his associates opened bank accounts in other people's names at banks where those people already had existing accounts; then they drew on their victims' lines of credit, having funds transferred into the new accounts, then withdrawing that money or transferring it to yet other accounts. "Many of these victims' personal information was fraudulently obtained from Autobahn Motors in Belmont," reads the report.
At one point, "Armstrong drove a co-conspirator to Arizona from California where they obtained and used an Arizona identification card in the name of an individual whose identity was stolen from Autobahn Motors. Armstrong's co-conspirator was able to withdraw $9,000 from the more than $140,000 line of credit the conspirators had set up using the stolen identity." Ironically, in prison Armstrong/Shabazz won't have any name at all, just a number.