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25-year prison sentence closes book on massive identity theft ring

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A federal judge has sentenced a Twin Cities man to 25 years in prison for leading one of the largest identity theft rings Minnesota has seen.

The Star Tribune reports Gordon Moore was the last of six ringleaders to be sentenced in a conspiracy that grew to involve more than 100 people who stole more than $2.5 million. Both the lead prosecutor and Judge Paul Magnuson tell the Star Trib it's one of the largest fraud and identity theft cases they've encountered.

The newspaper explains that the ring's organizers broke into homes and businesses to steal private information, but also recruited others to funnel personal data to them. Those included employees of banks, credit unions, and other businesses as the ring eventually spread to 14 states, prosecutors argued.

The U.S. Attorney's office says those involved in the ring used the information to create counterfeit checks and fraudulent IDs.

A similar but smaller case in St. Paul led to the September sentencing of four women, including one who formerly worked for the Minnesota Department of Labor.

What can you do to minimize your chances of being an identity theft victim? Ramsey County offers this list of suggestions.

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