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Judge denies bail to suspect in 122 identity-theft crimes


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POSTED: Thursday, June 18, 2009

Honolulu police have not completed an investigation into the identity-theft crimes allegedly committed by Susan E. Shaw and are still contacting potential victims, said Detective John McCarthy.

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Shaw, 35, of Kailua, is facing 122 identity-theft and related crimes in state court involving 11 Oahu residents and the loss of more than $160,000 to seven credit card companies. She has been in custody since her arrest May 7, unable to post $1 million bail.

Circuit Judge Dexter Del Rosario yesterday ordered Shaw to remain in custody pending trial without the opportunity for bail.

Deputy Prosecutor Chris Van Marter told Rosario that Shaw poses a serious flight risk, if given the opportunity to post bail, because of the seriousness of the charges against her and because of her history of frequent travel.

Five of the charges are class A felonies punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Van Marter has already indicated he will seek an extended term of life in prison with the possibility for parole, if Shaw is found guilty.

Shaw traveled to and from the mainland and other destinations every 10 to 14 days, a man initially identified as Shaw's husband told police.

Van Marter said the man has since indicated that he and Shaw were never legally married. They live together in Kailua and have two children.

McCarthy said Shaw also maintained at least two residences outside Hawaii and had at least two boyfriends in California.

Police in California recovered hotel and airline gift cards and personal information of between 40 and 50 other Oahu residents last month from a Manhattan Beach condominium Shaw rented.

Van Marter said since Shaw's arrest, some of those people have received credit cards in the mail for which they didn't apply.

Police believe Shaw contacted the U.S. Postal Service to put a hold on the mail of her victims and requested to have the credit cards for which she applied in their names sent to a different address. If the credit card companies sent the account statements to the victims' true addresses, the mail hold gave Shaw time to run up charges on the cards before the victim canceled the credit card.

One of the ways Shaw ran up charges was by purchasing gift cards, Van Marter said. He said Shaw also had fake identification in the names of her victims.