Local News

Ex-DMV worker remains focus of ID theft investigation

Posted March 21, 2011 5:03 p.m. EDT
Updated March 21, 2011 6:43 p.m. EDT

— State agents continue to investigate a former North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles employee in connection with an identity theft scheme, according to search warrants released Monday.

The State Bureau of Investigation began looking at Kimberly Nicole Torres in January 2010 after copies of driver's licenses and Social Security cards were found in her desk.

Torres told an SBI agent last year that two people provided the information so she could apply for payday loans in other people's names. She said she would use a DMV computer and a computer at a public library to apply for the loans.

Once the loans were deposited into bank accounts, Torres told investigators, she would withdraw the money, take a cut and close the account.

No charges have been filed in the case, but the SBI recently searched her house in Wendell and the Knightdale home of Neicole Noel, who is described as Torres' best friend. According to the search warrants, Torres told investigators that Noel also applied for fraudulent payday loans, some as recently as January.

Authorities said they believe Noel accessed Social Security numbers from a company database. Her employer isn't identified in the warrants.

Computers, cell phones, financial records and personal documents were seized from the two homes, according to the search warrants.

Jennifer Canada, a spokeswoman for the SBI, said the investigation is ongoing and that it's often up to local prosecutors to decide whether charges will be filed. The Wake County District Attorney's Office said a prosecutor has been assigned to the case, but it was unclear Monday whether he has had a chance to review it.