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Pascack Valley Daily Voice serves Emerson, Hillsdale, Montvale, Park Ridge, River Vale, Washington Township, Westwood & Woodcliff Lake

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ID Theft: $400,000 Stolen From Hillsdale Retiree, Out-Of-State Duo Charged

Richard C. Okorie, Barbara Lynn Alexander
Richard C. Okorie, Barbara Lynn Alexander Photo Credit: Jerry DeMarco

Two members of an interstate identity theft ring – one of them a 79-year-old old woman who lives in North Carolina -- helped steal $400,000 from a Hillsdale retiree, authorities said.

Richard C. Okorie, 42, of Missouri City, TX, and Barbara Lynn Alexander of Graham, NC, were arrested following an investigation by borough police investigated, with support from the Bergen County prosecutor’s Financial Crimes Unit and several other agencies in three states, Hillsdale Police Chief Robert Francaviglia said.

Some of the money stolen from the victim’s company-sponsored retirement account was recovered, the chief said.

The funds had been transferred through a money-laundering network comprised of conspirators who “assumed fictitious identities and opened up numerous bank accounts by creating shell companies,” Francaviglia said.

Okorie and Alexander are each charged with theft by deception, false impersonation, money laundering and conspiracy, he said.

Okorie was brought to New Jersey to face the charges earlier this week. Extradition proceedings against Alexander apparently hadn’t been completed.

“The investigation is ongoing and additional charges and arrests may be forthcoming,” Francaviglia said.

The chief thanked the prosecutor’s office, US Homeland Security Investigations, US Customs and Border Patrol, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, the Texas Department of Public Safety, Houston police and the Harris County District Attorney's Office. 

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