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Florida identity thieves busted after IRS finds Instagram photo

Posted By CAROLINE LEE, UPI.com   |   May 13, 2013 at 5:07 PM   |   Comments

May 13 (UPI) -- Troy Maye, 44, and Tiwanna Thompson, 39, pleaded guilty to aggravated identity theft and possession of unauthorized access devices. The two face up to 12 years in federal prison.

A photo of a steak with a side order of macaroni and cheese led to the arrest of the two South Florida identity thieves, according to the Sun-Sentinel.

IRS agents were on the scent to find a man that said he stole 700,000 identities to sell -- and initially, they had few clues to go on.

An undercover witness told the IRS that the man's name was Troy and that he was dating a woman named Tiwanna Thompson.

But the break didn't come until Jan. 7, when Maye and Thompson met with the undercover agent at Morton's steakhouse. There, Maye and Thompson turned over a flash drive that had 50,000 identities -- all that they said could be used to file fraudulent income tax returns.

The drive only contained 50 identities, but the IRS was able to recover hidden data that tied the drive to Maye. A special agent searched the name and found Troy Maye's Instagram page, which had a the photo -- dated Jan. 7. -- and showed the steak and macaroni and cheese Maye had with the witness.

The two were arrested, and IRS agents confiscated hard drives containing nearly 55,000 identities.

Follow @cmlee and @UPI on Twitter.
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