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From: Stingray
Lauderdale postal worker called 'master of identity theft'

By Jeff Shields
Staff Writer

January 25, 2002

Federal investigators, alarmed at the expanding trail left by a postal worker they 
describe as "a master of identity theft," are looking into possible fraud involving 
his day job with the Florida Department of Children and Families.

Momodou Jarboh is not only accused of stealing credit cards, checks and financial 
information from a Fort Lauderdale post office, where he worked overnight sorting 
mail. Authorities are now concerned that the Jarboh's alleged crime ring may have 
involved his state job -- in which he gathered personal information to determine 
individual eligibility for food stamps and other programs -- and his previous job with 
First Union Bank.

Items recovered from Jarboh following his arrest Saturday include 16 sheets of 
financial information, apparently printed directly off a bank screen. Also found were 
nine stolen credit cards and three counterfeit driver's licenses, Assistant U.S. 
Attorney Jeffrey Kaplan said in federal court in Fort Lauderdale on Thursday. Jarboh 
himself was carrying eight credit cards in other people's names and ATM receipts from 
accounts in nine different names.

"He seems to be kind of a master of identity theft," Kaplan said. "This is not just a 
simple case where someone takes a couple of pieces of mail. ... This is a complex 
identity scheme where there are a lot of things going on, and he seems to be at the 
top of the pyramid."

Jarboh, 33, of Miramar, was arrested Saturday morning during his overnight shift as a 
temporary clerk working on a sorting machine. U.S. Postal Inspector Gerald Kosakowski 
said he observed Jarboh stealing letters and other items from the mail stream when no 
one was looking.

Kaplan said Jarboh, after he was arrested, began instructing people he knew, including 
a government informant, to empty certain bank accounts and remove evidence from his 
car. Evidence from various bank accounts indicated that Jarboh had access to more than 
$350,000, Kaplan said.

Part of the alleged scheme involved stealing credit card checks -- the kind offered by 
credit card companies to get customers to transfer balances or obtain cash advances -- 
then depositing those into accounts set up under other people's names.

Jarboh was ordered held without bail Thursday, despite defense attorney Carlo 
D'Angelo's argument that Jarboh had no criminal record. D'Angelo challenged the 
government to prove that the items in Jarboh's car were his own.

Kaplan also said Jarboh had a receipt that showed he was trying to obtain a cargo 
container -- the size of a railroad car -- to ship something to Africa. Jarboh, a 
native of Gambia, is now a U.S. citizen.

During the day, Jarboh works as a caseworker for the Economic Self-Sufficiency Office 
of the Department of Children and Families in Hollywood. Part of his job includes 
taking down clients' personal information to determine if they're eligible for public 
assistance, including Food Stamps and Medicaid, according to a job description 
provided by the state.

Jack Moss, district administrator for the Department of Children and Families, said 
Jarboh's computer access and accounts have been frozen and the department will be 
checking for recent activity "that may not be work-related." Moss said Jarboh's job 
status would be addressed in the next few days.

Jarboh has worked for the post office since June 2001, Kosakowski said.

Jeff Shields can be reached at [EMAIL PROTECTED] or 954-356-4531.

Copyright (c) 2002, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

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