Department of Safety & Homeland Security Identity Crimes Unit Halts Identity Theft Scheme

Wednesday, September 18, 2013 | 12:53pm

NASHVILLE --- Members of the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security’s Identity Crimes Unit arrested two suspects in connection with identity theft in Memphis on Wednesday.

Tonikia Trotter, 35, was taken into custody and charged with identity theft trafficking, theft over $10,000 and forgery (all felony charges). Her mother, Angler Austin, 54, was charged with felony accessory after the fact. They were booked at the Shelby County (Memphis East) Jail.

A Memphis citizen contacted the Identity Crimes office approximately three weeks ago, after a credit bureau alerted him to suspicious activity on a credit card. The credit bureau agent suspected the individual’s driver license number had been stolen and used fraudulently.

Based on information from the complainant, Trooper Brad Simpson and Office of Homeland Security Investigator Joey Hudgins were able to retrace the steps of the suspects to discover when they made credit card applications. The investigators were then able to identify the suspects and executed a search warrant at their residence Wednesday morning.

There, investigators seized over $12,000 of fraudulently purchased property, including iPads, laptops, Xbox gaming equipment and home décor. They also discovered the names of approximately 25 individuals who fell victim to this identity theft scheme. 

Investigators from the Tennessee Highway Patrol’s Interdiction Plus Team also assisted in this case.

Booking photos may be obtained from the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.

The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security’s (www.TN.Gov/safety) mission is to ensure that our state is a safe, secure place in which to live, work and travel; enforce the law with integrity; and provide customer-focused services professionally and efficiently.