ORLAND PARK, IL – A woman from Orland Park has been criminally charged in what appears to be a statewide organized auto theft ring, according to a press release from Attorney General Kwame Raoul’s office. The woman is accused of organizing the scheme in collaboration with a man from Lansing that four men carried out, the statement said.
According to Raoul’s office, Sierra Wells, 27, of Orland Park, and Anthony Brown, also known as rapper Tony Sosa, 40, of Lansing, are the coordinators of the criminal offense that took place in Fall 2020. According to the statement, Raoul alleges that Brown and Wells devised a scheme to obtain high-value vehicles by defrauding car dealerships and financial institutions using stolen and fraudulent identities.
The statement said Wells provided false identities to Brown, who used money and drugs to recruit Kevin Bandy, 48, DeAngelo Hackney, 30, James Krout, 47, and Zebedee Moore, 48. According to Raoul’s office, the group allegedly used the false identities. to seek financing from car dealerships and purchase luxury vehicles. The business that stretched across Illinois resulted in the loss of about $ 100,000 to auto dealers and financial institutions, the statement said.
“These indictments allege that the defendants orchestrated and executed a complex fraud operation that crossed county and even state borders to steal expensive luxury vehicles and defraud car dealerships and financial institutions in the region. process, ”said Raoul. “I appreciate the critical support from our federal and local law enforcement partners, as well as our business partners. Today’s charges demonstrate the importance of partnerships and collaborations to better protect communities and hold individuals accountable for these complex criminal operations.
Wells and Brown were charged with identity theft, aggravated possession of a stolen motor vehicle, organizing a continuing criminal enterprise, theft by deception, financial institution fraud and forgery. If found guilty, Brown and Wells could be released on probation or face up to six to 30 years in prison, the statement said.
Bandy, Hackney, Krout and Moore have been charged with identity theft, aggravated possession of a stolen motor vehicle, theft by deception, financial institution fraud and forgery. All four could face two to 15 years in prison, the statement said.
According to the statement, Raoul’s office was supported during the investigation and prosecution by the offices of DuPage County District Attorney Robert Berlin and Cook County District Attorney Kimberly Foxx.
“The number of luxury vehicle thefts in Chicago and surrounding counties has skyrocketed last year,” DuPage County Attorney Robert Berlin said. “The organizers of these programs are smart, well organized and determined to get these vehicles and move them as fast as they can. That is why it is crucial that we all work together, not only the public and private sectors. responsible, but also to prevent thefts from happening in the first place. I commend Attorney General Raoul and his staff for their work on this case and for taking proactive steps to tackle this costly epidemic. “
According to the statement, Raoul’s office worked with the Barrington Police Department and the West Chicago Police Department to investigate a pattern of apparently isolated retail car thefts. The investigation went on for years and involved thefts in various counties in Illinois and other states.
“These indictments should serve as a warning to those who choose to circumvent the law for illegal profit,” Cook County District Attorney Kim Foxx said. “CCSAO was pleased to support the coordinated efforts of our state, local and federal law enforcement partners in this investigation, as we work together to address community concerns about not only crime. in Cook County but across Illinois. ”
Raoul’s office has partnered with Illinois law enforcement and the U.S. Secret Service, as well as entities in the banking, insurance and automotive industries to identify and indict the organizers of the crime. .
Defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty by a court.