Man sentenced in Missouri's biggest identity theft case - KCTV5

Man sentenced in Missouri's biggest identity theft case

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INDEPENDENCE, MO (KCTV) -

A man was sentenced to 15 years in prison for his role in masterminding the largest identity theft case ever in Missouri.

Terry Lee Morrow Jr. was convicted of stealing the identity of customers at his Eastern Jackson County car dealership. Prosecutors said his theft involved more than $1 million in fraudulent car loans in two states. He stole the identities of 44 Jackson County residents.

After hearing from victims Thursday afternoon, a Jackson County judge handed down the prison sentence.

Morrow operated Edge Auto Sales. He would acquire sensitive personal information about his victims through car sales and online applications for financing.

He then used this information to forge auto loans for car sales that never occurred. He would then sell the fraudulent loans to automotive finance companies, which in turn bought the rights to collect the loan for a lump sum payment to Morrow. He made nearly $500,000 by selling the fraudulent loans.

His scam unraveled when a customer whose identity had been stolen found a fake car loan on her credit report.

As the investigation was underway, Morrow fled to Illinois and embarked on the same scheme and again used identities of Missouri victims. As he tried to flee Illinois, he was arrested.

Dozens of Morrow's victims crowded into an Independence courtroom on Thursday. The judge heard the lengthy testimony.

Morrow expressed his remorse and said he was sorry, but some victims said they cannot forgive or forget the damage caused to their lives.

One of the victims lost her job because her credit was destroyed and she couldn't buy a car to get to work. The mother of three daughters said she learned she couldn't get a car loan after hers was wrecked due to an unpaid $29,000 fraudulent loan.

She contacted the Missouri Attorney General's Office and they worked to get the credit reports for the victims restored. Altogether, it took Victoria Calvillo nearly 18 months to get the $29,000 loan removed from her credit report. She had to take two lesser paying jobs that were near each other to make up for the job she lost.

Prosecutors had sought a 20-year sentence while defense attorneys sought probation, saying Morrow was a first-time offender.

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