BRIEF: U.S. Secret Service investigating Valley man for possible fraud
Feb 24, 2012 (The Brownsville Herald - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
The U.S. Secret Service is investigating a Harlingen man suspected of defrauding a federal bank of thousands of dollars by using different identities to open accounts he funded with cash advances, court records show.
A criminal complaint filed Thursday alleges that Curtis Sparks, 30, used 19 stolen identities -- including that of an American missionary in Angola -- to open 24 checking and savings accounts at the USAA Federal Savings Bank.
The bank contacted the Secret Service in December to report the suspected fraud, which the complaint says lasted from March to November of 2011.
Sparks allegedly used credit card advances drawn from different banks under various names to put money into the accounts. Between August and November of 2011, Secret Service agents believe he withdrew more than $91,000 from the accounts from ATMs in South Texas, according to the complaint.
Agents linked the various accounts to Sparks by tracking his cell phone records attached to the different accounts. They then tracked Sparks to a Harlingen address.
The complaint states the majority of the ATM withdrawals occurred at International Bank of Commerce locations in Harlingen.
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