Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale’s and Saks Fifth Avenue Customers Victims of Identity Theft

Three convicted of identity theft lost their appeals in front of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.  Annette Sandoval, April Hicks and Sean Vanderhack were convicted for selling stolen goods as a part of a low tech identity theft scheme.  According to court papers, the three targeted customers of high end stores, such as Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales and Saks Fifth Avenue.

How did their identity theft scheme work?  The identity theft gang stole credit card numbers from the retailers and then using the stolen credit card numbers, ordered goods from the stores and sold them.  On some occasions, the goods were returned to the stores for cash or credit!

How did they steal the credit card numbers from the stores?   According to reports, the identity theft gang stole the credit card numbers from the stores’ black books or “clientele” books.  The books included customers’ credit card numbers, names, addresses, clothing preferences and birthdays.

Who is defined by the law as a victim?  Until 2009, victims had to suffer a financial loss – pecuniary harm.  Today, victims include someone “whose means of identification was used unlawfully or without authority.”  See the 2011 Sentencing Guideline Manual.  Applying the law, the Judges Frank Easterbrook, Diane Sykes and Ilana Rovner held the 65 consumers were also “victims” and denied the appeal.

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