TWO FLORIDA MEN INDICTED ON CHARGES RELATED TO BUSINESS ID THEFT
DENVER –The statewide grand jury has indicted John Parks (DOB: 10-29-76 ) and Daryl Honowitz (DOB: 09-05-60 ) on 28 criminal counts related to the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act (COCCA) and felony charges for computer crime, theft, defrauding a secured creditor, identity theft and forgery. The indictment was based on an 18-month investigation conducted by the Colorado Attorney General and Secretary of State offices and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. Parks and Honowitz were arrested in their Florida homes and will be extradited to Colorado for prosecution.
“Close coordination between Colorado’s state agencies is what exposed this scheme,” said Chief Deputy Attorney General Cynthia Coffman. “While many think of identity theft as a consumer issue, this case exemplifies that businesses are not immune to this crime and need to do their part to stay safe.”
The indictment alleges an elaborate pattern of racketeering that began in February 2011 and ran through April 2012. Parks is accused of accessing the Colorado Secretary of State’s website to find delinquent businesses. He then used his own name and the identities of others to submit unauthorized Statements Curing Delinquency and Statements of Change. Parks then acquired the delinquent business by paying a fee and changing the business address and/or the registered agent information. In some instances, he submitted false information to Dun and Bradstreet in order to increase the credit worthiness of the businesses.
Generally, the businesses were acquired and then sold to third parties. On occasion, Parks and Honowitz engaged in a lease-back scheme to steal money by defrauding secured creditors. Leased computer equipment was represented to the creditor, Marlin Business Bank, as high-end customized equipment. The actual computers that were shipped, however, were of much lesser quality and value than Honowitz (doing business as Database Developers) represented. Based on the false representations that Parks and Honowitz made, Marlin Business Bank paid Database Developers $32,226, and Parks received a portion of those proceeds.
“Thanks to the thorough work of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, business identity thieves will constantly be looking over their shoulders knowing that we’re coming for them,” Secretary of State Scott Gessler said. “Coloradans can continue to safeguard their business filings through email notification for unauthorized changes and password protection to prevent these kinds of crimes. For those criminals who may slip past, my office will continue to work aggressively and cooperatively with Colorado’s law enforcement community to track them down.”
“Protecting the public from identity theft is a top priority at the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, as evidenced through the dedication of a unit focused on the investigation, education and community outreach surrounding this far reaching crime,” said CBI Director Ron Sloan. “This comprehensive indictment not only reflects outstanding cooperation between state agencies but it also sets the stage for bringing justice to victims of this insidious crime.”
Colorado businesses are reminded to take advantage of the security features offered by the Secretary of State's Office and encouraged to sign up for password protection and email notification options to protect against identity thieves.
The filing of criminal charges or an indictment is merely a formal accusation that an individual committed a crime. Each defendant should be presumed innocent until proven guilty. These cases will be prosecuted in City and County of Denver by the Colorado Attorney General’s Office.
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