2 charged with identity theft of isle couple
THE U.S. Marshal's Fugitive Task Force captured two fugitives wanted for stealing a Big Island couple's identity and making thousands of dollars in illegal purchases and taking cash advances against their credit lines.
Janine Santiago, 36, and Brendan Sylva, 31, were arrested Tuesday and arraigned in federal court Wednesday on charges of four counts of bank fraud, three counts of wire fraud, two counts of access device fraud, two counts of mail fraud, one count of mail theft and one count of aggravated identity theft.
The two were indicted by a federal grand jury in late October as part of the identity theft crimes initiative. The Hawaii Identity Theft and Fraud Task Force was formed Nov. 7.
According to the indictment, the two obtained personal and financial information of a Big Island couple in their 60s from a home burglary.
Santiago and Sylva wrote checks from the Big Island couple's checking and retirement accounts, opened credit card accounts in their names to make purchases worth thousands of dollars and took cash advances.
They face up to 30 years' imprisonment on each count of bank fraud, 20 years for each count of wire and mail fraud, 10 years on each count of access device fraud and five years for mail theft. If convicted of aggravated identity theft, they could face an additional two years.
The U.S. Postal Service investigated the case.
Detention hearings for both are set for 10:30 a.m. Monday.