September 1st, 2009
03:37 PM ET

Financial Dispatch: Arrest in ID theft that hit Fed chief

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/CRIME/09/01/bernanke.id.theft/art.ben.bernanke.cnn.jpg caption="Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke acknowledged the identity theft involving his family."]

Andrew Torgan
CNN Financial News Producer

Federal agents have nabbed a woman allegedly involved in a sophisticated identity-theft ring that claimed Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke among its victims, authorities said today.

Shona Michelle Young was arrested at the Airport Villas near Miami International Airport on Monday, said spokesman Barry Golden of the U.S. Marshal's office for the southern district of Florida.

Young is said to be a major check-casher for the identity theft ring, which stole the purse of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's wife, Anna, last summer.

Federal agents had earlier tried to arrest Young at her home in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, but found that she had fled, Golden said.

She was carrying a fake New York state driver's license and Visa debit card, both in the name of Deborah L. Taverna, along with wigs which she used to cash fraudulent checks, Golden said.

Was arrested at the Airport Villas

‘Clunkers’ rush lifts auto sales

The government’s popular “Cash for Clunkers” program gave a strong boost to U.S. auto sales last month, putting the industry on course for its best month this year. But sales dropped sharply in the last week of August after “Clunkers” ended.

Ford says sales rose 17% compared to August 2008, its biggest jump in sales in four years. Still, Ford sales' gain was short of the 22% increase forecast by sales tracker Edmunds.com.

General Motors posted a 20% drop in sales from a year ago - but sales were up 30% from a month ago, thanks to “Clunkers.” Chrysler Group reported a 15% decrease from August ’08 - but compared with July, sales climbed 5%.

Remember that both Chrysler and GM declared bankruptcy this year and received billions in government bailout money. Ford was the sole member of Detroit’s Big Three that neither accepted a bailout nor filed for Chapter 11 protection.

Best month this year

Pending home sales increase

More Americans signed sales contracts to buy homes in July than in June, marking the longest streak of monthly increases on record.

The pending home sales index from the National Association of Realtors rose 3.2% in July after rising by 3.6% in June. That's 12% higher than July 2008, and it marks the sixth straight increase since record-keeping began in 2001.

Signed real estate contracts often take many weeks or months to complete, so they are considered a forward-looking indicator.

Pending home sales index

Inside Madoff's Montauk home: Big views, modest decor

The only thing that's truly spectacular about Bernie Madoff's Montauk, New York beach house is its stunning views of the Atlantic.

The rest of the four bedroom house, which was seized by authorities after its owner was sentenced to 150 years for swindling investors out of billions of dollars, is fairly unremarkable considering its previous occupant's staggering wealth. Think Formica countertops and small bedrooms.

The U.S. Marshal's office announced today that the home will be marketed by noted New York area real estate broker, the Corcoran Group.

The Feds hope the house will fetch at least its listing price of $8.5 million, all of which will go to Madoff's victims.

Four bedroom house

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Filed under: Andrew Torgan • Cash for Clunkers • Finance • Housing Market
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. David, Indiana

    Yes a lovely view, breathtaking to wake up and see the blue Atlantic ocean each day.

    After all the swearing and outrage, it's reassuring that people can look at this place and think about countertops and flood insurance.

    September 1, 2009 at 8:34 pm |
  2. Tyrone

    It's America and greed and stupidity is the way of this country!

    September 1, 2009 at 6:55 pm |
  3. Annie Kate

    8.5 million for Formica counter tops and small bedrooms? I guess the price is for the view of the ocean and not representative of the house by itself. Pretty pricey though when you consider that a good tropical storm or nor'easter could wash the house away. Hope whoever buys it gets storm insurance and flood insurance....

    September 1, 2009 at 6:44 pm |
  4. Ruth

    ID theft is a true headache for the victims; I know of a married couple that it happened to as a result of their house being buglarized. When one of the thieves was caught using the wife's checkbook to open a new bank account, that thief was caught with a purse containing several different driver's licenses and checkbooks. Most of these thieves operate as part of organized groups. It's best to pay a fee to lock down credit than to leave anything to chance.

    September 1, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  5. Teresa, OH

    On the Bernanke ID theft: " which stole the purse of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke’s wife, Anna, last summer." I'm guessing in the way of ID theft that this year long case was a QUICK resolution and most other folk never find out who-done-it? Or were they going for the big fish in this case ?

    It's nice to see that w/ the sale of the Madoff property the money is going to his victims. RE: "Think Formica countertops and small bedrooms". Heck, in my neck of the woods, thats mighty fine livin.

    September 1, 2009 at 3:56 pm |