The arrest and subsequent federal conviction of an identity thief can credit its start to an alert victim and an initial Grangeville Police Department investigation.
“She was a pretty vigilant victim who was paying attention to her accounts, and got things going,” said GPD Officer Mike Quintal.
Last week, Jordan Schoo, 34, of Nampa (formerly of Grangeville) was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Boise to 39 months in prison on charges of identity theft by possession of five or more false identification documents and aggravated identity theft.
As part of the sentence ordered by Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill, Schoo will pay $8,703 in restitution, and serve three years of supervised release following his prison term. During the supervised release, Schoo will have substantially limited access to computers and the Internet.
Schoo was charged in an 11-count federal indictment on Aug. 14, 2013. According to the plea agreement, Schoo admitted that on March 20, 2013, he knowingly possessed nine false and fraudulent Idaho driver’s licenses, each with his own photograph but with the identifying information of actual people, such as names, dates of birth, and driver’s license numbers. Schoo possessed a tenth false identification with a different person’s photograph. According to the agreement, Schoo used, and intended to use, the documents to purchase goods on credit from various businesses participating in interstate commerce, such as Best Buy.
Schoo obtained the means of identification of people he impersonated from a number of sources, including that of a former roommate from Colorado. Schoo also used the means of identification taken from his mother’s business. He used the various false identities that he possessed to purchase goods from both local and on-line retailers, including a 60-inch television and a car audio and security system. Schoo also obtained credit cards in the names of various victims. As part of the scheme, he opened and maintained a mailbox under a false name at a commercial mailbox store.
The case initiated with a January 2013 report taken by Officer Quintal of a Lewis County resident who discovered a fraudulent package purchase had been made on her account.
“She did a little investigation and research on her own, and she was able to look into things a little further,” Quintal said. And in his subsequent investigation, “I found similarities to other fraud investigations that I had,” that led to the commercial mailbox store in Nampa. With assistance from Nampa-Caldwell area law enforcement and a copy of an alleged false identification, Schoo was identified as the suspect in this fraud investigation, which subsequently was joined by investigators from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and Homeland Security.
Quintal credits the vigilance of the victim in monitoring her financial account and records as ultimately what led to this case. He said this is a good public reminder for the public to monitor their financial activity, and to immediately report suspicious activity to their bank or credit provider and also law enforcement.