Identity theft ringleader sentenced to 15 1/2 years in prison

    The lead of a Philadelphia identity theft ring will spend 15 1/2 years in prison and pay more than $2 million in fines.

    Miguel Bel, 36, was convicted in June of running the ring that involved 24 other people — mostly bank tellers and other personal information holders whom Bell initiated relationships with to help steal the names, dates of births, addresses, social security numbers and bank account numbers of victims.

    Ten bank employees, a car dealership employee, an insurance company employee, eight check runners, and several recruiters pleaded guilty, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office. As part of his sentence, Bell will pay $1.7 million in restitution and a special assessment of $4,800.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    Help us get to 100% of our membership goal to support the reporters covering our region, the producers bringing you great local programs and the educators who teach all our children.