COOK COUNTY - Six individuals, including a local rapper, have been charged in a statewide car theft ring.
Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul announced the charges on Tuesday.
In addition, 48-year-old Kevin Brandy, 30-year-old DeAngelo Hackney, 47-year-old James Krout and 48-year-old Zebedee Moore allegedly assisted with the criminal enterprise.
"These indictments allege that the defendants orchestrated and executed a complex fraud operation that crossed county and even state lines to steal expensive luxury vehicles and defraud car dealerships and financial institutions in the process," Raoul said in a statement.
During the fall of 2020, Brown and Wells allegedly hatched a scheme to "obtain high-value vehicles by defrauding car dealerships and financial institutions using stolen and fraudulent identities."
According to the charges, Wells issued fake identities to Brown who then used money and drugs to recruit the other accomplices. Brown, Brandy, Hackney and Krout allegedly used the fake identifies to obtain financing at car dealerships and buy luxury vehicles.
"These indictments should serve as a warning to those who choose to circumvent the law to make illegal profits," Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx said in a statement.
The scheme resulted in the loss of about $100,000 for dealerships and financial institutions.
Brown and Wells were charged with counts of identity theft, aggravated possession of a stolen motor vehicle, organizing a continuing financial crimes enterprise, theft by deception, financial institution fraud, and forgery. If convicted, they could get probation or receive up to six to 30 years in prison.
Brand, Hackney, Krout and Moore were charged with counts of identity theft, aggravated possession of a stolen motor vehicle, theft by deception, financial institution fraud, and forgery. Each of them could receive two to 15 years in prison.
"The number of luxury vehicle thefts in Chicago and the surrounding counties has skyrocketed this past year," DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin concluded in a statement.