Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey announced that two Sayreville residents were arrested today and charged with participating in a credit card and identity theft ring that potentially netted thousands of dollars in stolen merchandise.
Clare Ojeda 37, and Shaun Howard, 38, were charged with fraudulent use of a credit card, identity theft, theft by deception and conspiracy to commit identity theft, all third degree offenses.
Bail was set at $50,000 for each of the defendants.
They were charged during an investigation by Detective Derek Farbanec of the Cranford Police Department and Detective Ryan Tighe of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office after it was determined that the defendants fraudulently obtained and used credit cards in the names of at least seven victims between December 19, 2014 and March 9, 2015.
The investigation began after one of the victims discovered an issue with credit card billing and contacted the Cranford Police Department, which initiated the investigation.
The detectives subsequently learned that the defendants used the identities of the victims to obtain credit cards, which then were used to make various purchases, including such items as clothing, shoes and sunglasses. The total amount of the thefts has yet to be determined.
The Cranford Police Department and the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office were assisted during the investigation by the Sayreville Police Department, the South Amboy Police Department, the South River Police Department, and inspectors from the U.S. Postal Service.
The investigation is active and is continuing.