Archive for Saturday, May 17, 2008

Strange’ ID theft case has local ties

May 17, 2008


Jeffrey Lickteig appeared to be the model tenant.

"He always wanted to pay rent early," Lawrence landlord Ross Razak said of the man who rented one-half of a duplex late last year. "He was a good tenant until April."

That's when Lickteig got behind on his rent. Then he disappeared after leaving word that he had a family emergency, Razak said. It had to do with a son who supposedly was in a Kansas City hospital.

Now the U.S. Attorney's Office has charged Lickteig, 29, and a couple, William A. Morris, 32, and Crystal L. Morris, 27, with wire fraud.

Two weeks ago Razak went to Lickteig's residence at 1005 Alma Drive. The door was answered by William Morris.

"Who are you?" Razak said he asked Morris. "He said his wife was Lickteig's nanny."

Razak said Lickteig had told him that a nanny would be there watching over his 3-year-old son.

"He said she probably isn't going to be answering the door," Razak said.

The charges against Lickteig and the Morrises stem from an investigation that began in January when the U.S. Secret Service received a report from a Lawton, Okla., man. He told them someone had stolen his identity and used it to obtain a credit card and an auto loan, according to federal court documents.

Court documents make these allegations:

Investigators learned the Lawton man's name was used to obtain a MasterCard with a $10,000 limit, a checking account with the United Services Automobile Association Federal Savings Bank, and a loan for $33,063 to buy a 2006 Ford F-150 pickup truck from a dealership in Purcell, Okla.

The investigation led to an online application for the auto loan to an Internet provider's address belonging to a woman in Lawrence. The truck-buyer had an Oklahoma driver's license obtained in the identity theft. The name on the license belonged to the victim of the identity theft. The photo on the license, however, was that of William Morris.

Investigators also found out that the identity theft victim had hired William Morris and Lickteig to install a satellite television in his home. They reportedly worked for a company called Audio Visions Inc.

The victim said that when he tried to file a federal income tax return, the Internal Revenue Service told him his return had already been filed by someone using his name and a Lawrence address.

Someone using a Visa card issued in the Oklahoma man's name also purchased nearly $71,000 in merchandise, including video games and televisions, from Target in Lawrence.

Further investigation led to a man who answered the phone at an office for Audio Visions in Purcell. The man said he was paid $300 a week to answer phones and obtain information from customers - including Social Security numbers - who wanted Dish Network TV service installed.

Investigators also talked to a woman who lived next door to Lickteig in Lawrence. The IP address was hers. She was using an unsecured wireless router.

Federal officers arrested the Morrises and Lickteig on May 7 at an address in Kansas City, Kan.

Razak never was paid the April rent. On Friday he was cleaning up the duplex where Lickteig and the Morrises had stayed. Although keys to the home were returned, Razak said he had the locks changed anyway. The only other things left behind besides some trash was a satellite television box and cable in a bedroom to a satellite dish that had been installed on the roof.

"I thought it was all kind of strange," he said, of his former tenant's activities and disappearance.


been_there 9 years, 11 months ago

Which may account for why they would give their address after filing a false income tax return. Surely he had to know the real person would file a return. Could anyone really be that stupid?

been_there 9 years, 11 months ago

OK, someone needs to ask, he spent $71,000 at Target? Granted you could go in and use different salespeople, but you mean nobody thought it was odd? Obviously he was reselling the stuff for cash. It must have been over a really long period of time to pull it off. You would have thought he would have purchased items all over town to avoid detection. It just struck me as really odd.

notajayhawk 9 years, 11 months ago

Personally, I found it more odd that they would file a tax return with the stolen identity. Unless they wanted the economic stimulus check.

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