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Bernanke Robbed by "Big Head"

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
If you think powerful people are impervious to identity theft, think again. Newsweek reports that Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke and his wife, Anna, were two of hundreds of victims in an elaborate, countrywide crime ring run by a scam artist known as "Big Head." The group, which goes by the street name "Cannon to the Wiz," is suspected of stealing more than $2.1 million.

Newsweek reports that the crime ring operated between Washington, D.C., Detroit and Chicago, often targeting sporting events like the NCAA Final Four tournament.

The crime ring used a combination of old fashioned pick pocketing and new age technology to conduct the frauds.

Last August, Anna Bernanke was in a Washington Starbucks when her purse was stolen off the back of her chair. Inside was her license, social security card, credit cards and the couple's joint checkbook. A few days later, someone was cashing checks on their account.

After swiping wallets from unsuspecting victims, the thieves took the bundles to accomplices waiting in cars parked outside. They then used computers, scanners and printers in the cars to make fake identity cards with the victims' information and the thieves' pictures.

"Identity theft is a serious crime that affects millions of Americans each year," Bernanke told Newsweek. "Our family was but one of 500 separate instances traced to one crime ring. I am grateful for the law enforcement officers who patiently and diligently work to solve and prevent these financial crimes."

Last month "Big Head," otherwise known as Clyde Austin Gray Jr. of Waldorf, Md., pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud. But the man who personally robbed the Bernankes is still at large.

Read more at Newsweek.

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