Industry News

Man stole identities from real estate loan documents

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A St. Louis area man this week was sentenced to 100 months in prison on credit card fraud charges relating to stolen identities he took from discarded mortgage documents, U.S. Attorney James G. Martin reported this week.   Jerome Hardene, a/k/a Jeremy Smith, 44, was sentenced to 100 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution of more than $100,000. On May 24, 2004, Hardene pled guilty to one felony count relating to a credit card fraud scheme. He appeared Tuesday for sentencing before Chief U.S. District Judge Carol E. Jackson.   According to the facts filed with the court at the time of the plea, Hardene obtained from a local mortgage company discarded loan documents that contained an individual's name, Social Security number and other personal information.   Hardene used that personal information to create a false Missouri drivers license. He then used the identity to fraudulently open a Lowe's Home Improvement Store instant credit card account, and between Mar...