Detectives Also Link Suspect to $52,000 in Fraudulent Unemployment Benefits
Atlantic City, N.J. - The New Jersey State Police have arrested Casey Ennis, 44, of Audubon, N.J. for allegedly using stolen identities to create and fund more than 1,800 online gambling accounts and for stealing identities to operate a fraudulent unemployment benefits scheme during a 17-month long identity theft investigation.
In January 2020, detectives with the Financial Crimes Unit were contacted by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement to assist with investigating suspicious online gambling accounts. Several victims reported that gambling accounts were created and funded using their identities without their authorization. Through various investigative means, detectives determined that Ennis stole the victims’ identities and fraudulently operated the accounts in Atlantic City's online gaming providers.
During the ongoing investigation, detectives also discovered that Ennis was using stolen identities to operate an unemployment benefits scheme, using them to generate numerous fraudulent unemployment claims. He allegedly created fraudulent bank accounts using the victims’ identities and would transfer funds from the claims to those accounts and then later make cash withdrawals. Detectives linked Ennis to more than $52,000 worth of fraudulent withdrawals and purchases.
On May 14, detectives along with members of the State Police T.E.A.M.S and K-9 Units executed a search warrant at Ennis’ residence in Audubon, N.J. As a result of the search, detectives arrested Ennis and seized more than 30 electronic devices, $491 cash, and 3 grams of methamphetamine.
Casey Ennis was charged with identity theft, credit card theft, computer related crimes, theft by deception, forgery, and possession of methamphetamine. He was released pending a future court date.
“As this case illustrates, identity theft can pose an insidious and expensive threat to individuals, businesses, and government programs,” said Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal. “For individuals, the cost, disruption, and invasion of privacy involved in having one’s identity stolen can be truly traumatic. We will continue to devote the resources necessary to investigate and aggressively prosecute those who commit these crimes.”
“Identity theft is often traumatic for the victims, because it is by nature one of the most invasive and intimate non-violent crimes there is, and in addition to the individual victims, businesses and consumers as a whole suffer the negative financial consequences of financial fraud,” said Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “We want today’s announcement to put identity thieves on notice that we are coming for them and that they will be brought to justice.”
“Whether we’re talking about online gaming, shopping, banking or other activities once exclusively conducted in person, more people are putting more personal information on the web than ever. In addition, many consumers now prefer to use a card instead of cash at the point of sale, all of which, unfortunately, creates more opportunity for identity thieves,” said DGE Director David Rebuck. “The bad news for criminals is that we’re keenly attuned to the threat and committed to addressing it. Through our own detection systems, DGE flagged the unusual activity underlying this fraud, and we were glad to work with State Police and the Division of Criminal Justice in developing the investigation that put a stop to it.”
If you suspect that you or someone you know may have been a victim of identity theft, immediately call your local police department or State Police Station that services your area to report the incident.
This case is being prosecuted by the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice Specialized Crimes Bureau.
Charges are mere accusations, and the accused is considered innocent until proven guilty.