By  on November 19, 2012

The ringleader of an identity theft scheme targeting New York-based retail accounts pled guilty to identity theft and fraud charges in Manhattan federal court Friday.

According to the U.S. Attorney, Phillip Smith, 55, the head of the four-year-old ring, used fake driver’s licenses, as well as the stolen identities of over 180 people, to buy more than $1 million in merchandise and gift cards at Home Depot, Sears, Kmart, Kohl’s, Best Buy, and other retail stores.

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