A man is in custody today, accused of committing fraud in four counties. Houston County Sheriff's deputies made the arrest last week. They are now piecing the puzzle together to get a better idea of how much property was illegally obtained.
Sheriff's deputies are saying this is one of the largest cases of identity theft they've ever seen in Houston County. In fact, so much property is involved that the FBI is looking into the case to see if federal charges can be applied.
The Houston County Sheriff's Department has impounded two vehicles worth more than $50,000. A 2003 Hummer II valued at $37,000 and a 2002 Lexus valued at $25,000 were acquired as part of an identity scam, along with many more items.
Investigator Bill Rafferty with the Houston Co. Sheriff's Department said, "This is one of the biggest cases I have worked in 18 years. The crime is in excess of $80,000."
Thirty-year-old Eugene Patrick Redahan was arrested last Thursday after being turned in by the victim, a close acquaintance. Rafferty said, "The victim actually lived with the offender for a short time and based on the information it started sometime in May."
This is not the first case of identity theft reported in Houston County and sheriff's deputies say there are steps you can take to protect yourself. Lt. Donald Valenza with the criminal investigations division of the Houston County Sheriff's Department said, "Anytime you get bills you need to shred them or burn them. Lots of times they'll get it out of your garbage to better themselves."
Redehan is also accused of using the victims’ identity to get car insurance, credit cards, automobile financing for two additional vehicles, and cable television.
Redahan faces two to twenty years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine in Houston County for fraud. He then will be extradited to three other counties where he will face charges for outstanding felonies.
If you think you are a victim of identity theft you can contact the Houston County Sheriff's Office at 677-4808.