HILLSDALE, N.J. – A Hillsdale man steered more than 200 bogus change-of-address to his home so he could apply for credit cards using the identities of dead people, authorities charged.
Demetrio Tejada, 51, was carrying various stolen identities, fraudulently obtained credit cards, forged driver’s licenses and “equipment utilized in the production of fraudulent identification cards” when he was arrested Wednesday in Hillsdale, Bergen County Prosecutor Gurbir S. Grewal said.
U.S. Postal Inspection Service inspectors last month noticed “an unusual number of online change-of-address requests had been filed which listed, as the new address, a residence in Hillsdale,” the prosecutor said.
“It was determined that the change-of-address requests were related to recently deceased individuals whose identities were utilized to apply for credit cards,” he said.
A joint investigation by the USPIS and Grewal’s Financial Crimes Unit found that Tejada had been stealing the identities related to the address change requests and using them to apply for various credit cards since December 2015, the prosecutor said.
“Those credit cards were then utilized to make illicit purchases in New Jersey and Connecticut,” he said.
A judge ordered Tejada, who is married and unemployed, held without bail pending a detention hearing on charges identity theft, impersonation, credit card theft and theft by deception, Grewal said.