by: Kerry Kavanaugh Updated:
None - Channel 2 Action News has learned 5,700 victims in a massive identity theft ring were legally mined off the popular website Ancestry.com.
Foster said he began working the case last April after receiving a report for a couple of stolen checks.
Investigators first believed there were hundreds of victims. Now, they know there are nearly 10,000.
The state has since closed the case.
Channel 2's Kerry Kavanaugh
Foster showed Kavanaugh several
Foster said their key player in theft ring, Annette Ford, 47, had an account on Ancestry.com.
Police believe Ford sold some of the information and used some in fraudulent tax returns. She has since pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiracy and identity fraud.
"The IRS and the government, it takes about 10-11 months for them to catch up to an actual dead person," Foster said.
Kavanaugh reached out to Ancestry.com and discovered the website has recently made a major change.
Spokesperson Heather Erickson sent statement saying: "It's unfortunate to hear of this situation. Ancestry.com is very thoughtful when choosing what public records it hosts to ensure that only those with significant family history value are available for our members to search.
Erickson said the site made the change in
For Foster, the move is too little too late.
"I fault a lot of
Foster said the IRS had a lot of red flags on this case. She says
"They kept coming and they're still coming," Foster said.
Foster said the owner of the business reached out to several agencies, but got little response.
Foster said she has identified several of Ford's accomplices, but only one other, Derrick Pickett, 38, is serving time for it.
Foster said to her knowledge, the IRS has not compensated any of the victims who lost money because fraudulent returns were filed in their names.
As Channel 2 Action News first reported last October, police believe another source of victims was the "super bills" from a local hospital.
They said they discovered the personal information of 3,800 patients at Emory Healthcare's Orthopedic Clinic had been compromised.
Police said Ford also had a connection to a former Emory employee.
Police: ID fraud victims tied to Ancestry.com
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