Local News

New Bern man pleads guilty to ID theft scheme

Posted June 5, 2012 3:08 p.m. EDT
Updated June 5, 2012 3:42 p.m. EDT

— A New Bern man pleaded guilty Monday to stealing the identities of dozens of people and filing fraudulent tax returns in their names to obtain refunds, authorities said.

Jeffrey Glenn Toohey, 42, pleaded guilty in federal court in Raleigh to two counts of aggravated identity theft and one count each of identity theft, access device fraud and bank fraud. He will be sentenced later.

Federal authorities said Toohey stole more than 400 tax files from a Jackson Hewitt office in New Bern in late 2010 and used the names and Social Security numbers of those people to set up merchant credit accounts to buy goods for himself and a coffee shop he ran in town.

He and a friend also used public Wi-Fi spots to file tax returns under numerous names and had refunds wired into bank accounts that Toohey had set up.

Searches conducted by federal authorities last July linked Toohey to 35 fake Marine Corps identification badges, 19 counterfeit North Carolina driver's licenses and 15 fake driver's licenses from Florida and Texas, the search warrant states.