Three Seaford brothers were arrested Thursday and charged with being part of a seven-member identify theft ring that “hijacked” more than 180 people’s store credit accounts to obtain in excess of $1 million in merchandise, gift cards and store credits.
The arrested Seaford brothers, Mahmoud Abdul Hussein, 27, Ali Adbul Hussein, 33, and Fadal Abdul Hussein, 22, allegedly manufactured fake driver’s licenses out of their storefront smoke shops in Manhattan's Greenwich Village that were secured by Phillip Smith of the Bronx, according to authorities. The identity theft ring busted Thursday was organized by Smith around 2008 when he allegedly obtained stolen identities, including the names and Social Security numbers of account holders at large retail chains like Home Depot, Sears, Kmart, and Kohl’s, according to authorities.
The arrests of the three Seaford brothers and four others involved in the identify theft ring were made through a collaborative investigation between the offices of State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara and Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.
“These individuals systematically victimized over 180 New Yorkers in an elaborate scheme to line their own pockets,” said Schneiderman in a statement.
The Hussein brothers were each charged with conspiracy to produce fake driver’s licenses, which carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.