A 27-year-old woman from Mauston, Sauk County, is accused of using information sourced from the dark web in identity theft. The woman allegedly purchased credentials from the dark web to supplement information she stole from her victim’s mailboxes. She was placed in custody to await trial and was charged with two counts of credit card fraud and three separate counts of forgery and identity theft.
According to reports, authorities disclosed that they began investigations against 27-year-old Annie Ella Rozinski after an insurance firm filed a complaint with the police in December concerning a $1,586 cheque that the firm alleged had been cashed fraudulently. The insurance firm told the police that the client they had sent the cheque to claimed he had not received it, yet it had been cashed out in a Wisconsin Dells store and restaurant. Police from Mauston and Lake Delton investigated the case by questioning people of interest and by viewing the security cameras’ footage at the store.
In one of the interviews, 55-year-old Gary L. Jordan of Wisconsin Dells told the police that he believed Rozinski had cashed the cheque. When asked to explain why he suspected Rozinski, the man told the police that he knew Rozinski could create driver’s licenses that resembled those issued by the authorities. Jordan then told the police that Rozinski had made him a driver’s license that he used to successfully receive a cash payment from a casino in the area.
To validate the information given to them by Jordan, the police acquired the security camera footage of the store that the cheque had been cashed out in. In the footage, the police obtained images of Rozinski cashing the cheque. Rozinski’s probation officer then allegedly verified to the police that it was her seen in the footage. The police later arrested Rozinski and placed her in custody for questioning.
On being questioned, Rozinski allegedly disclosed that she had been introduced to what she called ‘mailbox shopping’ by her accomplice, 28-year-old Kevin M. Maun. She told the police questioning her that she used to get into her victim’s mailboxes and steal valuable documents and information such as cheques, credit card pre-approval forms, and any identifying information. After taking the information, she would then purchase stolen credentials such as social security numbers from the dark web. She would then use the credentials bought from the dark web and the ones she had stolen to create identity documents to use to cash out the stolen cheques or to make fraudulent purchases with the credit cards. Police carried out further investigations against Rozinski and Maun that led to the discovery that the two had used other stolen identities to make credit card purchases of an undisclosed amount of cash from merchants in Lake Delton.
The police also looked deeper into Jordan’s activities to establish what kind of ties he had with Rozinski and found out that he had also cashed a fraudulent cheque at the same store as Rozinski. When questioned about it, Jordan reportedly told the police that Rozinski had cashed the cheque, not him. Police further carried out their investigation by acquiring the store’s surveillance footage that showed Jordan cashing out the cheque. As a result, Jordan was charged with forgery and obstruction of justice.
As a result of the evidence gathered against her during the course of the investigation and the information she gave up to the police when questioned, Rozinski was remanded into Juneau county jail. Rozinski will remain in the jail until March 20, when she is set to be presented in the Sauk County Circuit Court to face the identity theft, credit card fraud, and forgery charges levied against her.