This “Asset Search News Roundup” discusses criminal liability for hiding assets via money laundering in Mexico; a computer intrusion at Heartland Payment Systems which may have compromised tens of millions of credit / debit card transactions; and the sentencing of a man for identity theft after he was caught with 66 counterfeit driver’s licenses:

1.  The Mutual Evaluation Report of Mexico, (released by the Financial Action Task Force on January 12), mentions that criminal liability for money laundering and / or terrorist financing in Mexico, has yet to meet international standards.  Paragraph 5 at page 3 of the Report’s Executive Summary expressly states this.  Pages 4-5 of the Report’s Executive Summary also detail some of the deficiencies in Mexico’s legal system for regulating money laundering.

2.  What could be the largest theft of credit / debit card information to date, recently occurred at payment processor Heartland Payment Systems of Princeton, New Jersey.   As reported by The Washington Post, tens of millions of credit / debit card transactions may have been recorded by a hacker using malicious software on Heartland’s processing network.  A press release describes how MasterCard and Visa first reported suspicious activity to Heartland, which then used forensic auditors to uncover the computer intrusion.

3.  This past Friday, David Lorenzo Fletcher was sentenced to prison for identity theft (18 U.S.C. §1028), in U.S.A. v. Fletcher.  Mr. Fletcher was given a sentence of eight years and five months in federal court after he was initially indicted on July 26, 2007 for both identity theft and alleged possession of counterfeit securities (18. U.S.C. §513 {a}).  According to the article “Man sentenced for identity-related crime“, Mr. Fletcher had been stopped by a state trooper and at that time possessed: 66 counterfeit Missouri driver’s licenses, 5 Social Security cards from other people, 6 Texas temporary driving permits, 8 forged payroll checks, along with $3,909 cash.

Copyright 2009 Fred L. Abrams