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Document and Benefit Fraud
02/26/2014

HSI arrests Detroit man suspected of identity theft

DETROIT — Special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) arrested a Detroit man Monday who was wanted for allegedly using the identity of several metro Detroit residents to withdraw cash from area banks.

HSI special agents arrested Larry Pearson, 59, of Detroit, without incident early Monday outside an abandoned home on Detroit's northwest side. He was turned over to Grosse Pointe Farms Police and arraigned in federal court Wednesday on identity theft charges.

According to a three-count complaint issued in state court for Pearson's arrest, he allegedly used the identification of a Grosse Pointe Farms resident to make cash withdrawals from several tri-county area banks. If convicted of the felony charges, each count carries a maximum punishment of up to five years in prison and fines of up to $10,000.

"Our investigation into this scheme is still very much ongoing, with the priority being to identify additional perpetrators and victims," said Marlon Miller, special agent in charge of HSI Detroit. "If the public has information that may be relevant to this case, we urge them to contact HSI."

"Identity theft is a growing threat that can cause real and permanent damage to a victim's reputation and their financial future," said Lt. Rich Rosati, Grosse Pointe Farms Police. "We're proud to partner with HSI to safeguard the community against this growing problem."

The public can report information related to this case by calling 313-226-0500.

HSI places a high priority on investigating document and benefit fraud. Document fraud, also known as identity fraud, is the manufacturing, counterfeiting, alteration, sale, and/or use of identity documents and other fraudulent documents to circumvent immigration laws or for other criminal activity. Identity fraud in some cases also involves identity theft, a crime in which an impostor takes on the identity of a real person (living or deceased) for some illegal purpose.