A California US Navy couple is in the news for allegedly stealing more than 9,000 identities of innocent citizens. They sold it to get more than $160,000 worth of Bitcoin. The ones who bought the identities then used them to commit identity theft.
The History of the US Navy Couple
A couple assigned to the US Navy, Marquis Asaad Hooper aged 30 and his wife, Natasha Renee Chalk, aged 37 are in the news for criminal reasons.
The husband Marquis was a former US Navy staff. He was assigned to be a chief petty officer with the Navy’s Seventh Fleet.
He filled this position till October 2018. His wife was a naval reservist stationed at Naval Air Station Lemoore in California.
They both lived in Fresno County and had been filed with lawsuit on charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, committing wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft.
The History of the Theft
They both conspired to commit these crimes and did so in a unique fashion. In the month of August, 2018, the husband Marquis enquired and requested for the personal details of millions of people. The company contacted was a company that stored information of citizens. He inquired by using a disguise. He said he needed the identities with the permission of the Seventh fleet to run background checks on Navy personnel.
He proceeded to add his wife and some unknown others to the database account which the company operates.
The US Navy couple then proceeded to search for thousands of people’s identities over a period of 2 and a half months.
The charges explained that they sold these 9,000 plus identities to others who committed identity theft with them.
The cost of this hideous transaction grossed to more than $160,000 worth of Bitcoin.
The attorney who represents the couple, Attorney Michael McKneely noted that the couple accessed the database under their work jurisdiction.
He explained further by saying the government shouldn’t be oblivion of the fact that the database was commercially available and anyone might have gotten access to it anyways.
In Mckneely words, “the government never met with my client to attempt to determine what that basis was”
However, investigators served the US Navy couple a serach warrant in 2018.
The prosecutors backed up their stand with a case of alleged illegal withdrawal of money. A man in Gilbert, Arizona had tried to withdraw money from a bank account using a fake driver’s License. The said ‘fake license’ was forged from one of the identities the US Navy man Marquis sold in 2018.
The company which the US Navy couple got the information from shut down their access in December 2018. However, the couple still tried to gain access. They used a petty officer aboard the U.S.S. George Washington. According to the indictment, they forged documents and signatures and tried to gain access.
The US Navy couple are in detention at the moment. The wife was arrested on monday while the husband surrendered on tuesday. They each face a maximum of 20 years behind bars.