DA: 10 members of identity theft ring victimized 270 Coloradans
DENVER — Over 270 Coloradans reportedly fell victim to the racketeering scheme of 10 men named in an indictment released by the Denver District Attorney’s office on Wednesday.
A Denver Grand Jury returned a 75-count indictment against the 10 individuals, who stand accused of running a racketeering operation that involved mail theft, auto theft and counterfeit checks.
Christopher Bahl, 35, and Gary Dean Crowther, 30, were named as the ring leaders of the operation. Each have been charged with violating the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act and numerous other felony counts, including conspiracy to commit computer crime, identity theft, forgery and aggravated motor vehicle theft.
In all, Bahl was charged with COCCA and 48 other counts, while Crowther was charged with COCCA and 30 other counts.
The remaining eight allegedly members of the racketeering ring were also indicted for multiple felony counts, including conspiracy to commit identity theft, forgery and computer crime, according to the district attorney’s office.
The end game for Bahl’s and Crowther’s band of racketeers was identity theft, district attorney spokesperson Lynn Kimbrough said.
“The indictment alleges that Bahl and Crowther led a group of people whose common goal was to steal mail, break into cars and steal cars,” Kimbrough said. “The group is accused of creating phony checks and identification and using them at local grocery stores, banks and other retail outlets, causing losses of more than $100,000 between Sept. 2012 and Aug. 2013.”
Bahl was already in custody with the Colorado Department of Corrections as of Wednesday. Crowther was in custody in Jefferson County. The first court dates for the two men had not yet been set as of Wednesday.