ID thief gets 15 years in Operation Zig Zag

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Jacksonville Sheriff's Office booking photo of Lorenzo Jackson

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A 30-year-old Jacksonville man was sentenced Friday morning to 15 years in prison for his involvement in Operation Zig Zag.

Lorenzo Jackson pleaded guilty in January to two counts of criminal use of personal identification information. He was responsible for stealing dozens of identities and using the information in a tax fraud scheme.

Jackson was one of 17 people arrested in the seven-month long investigation. The operation's name was the result of an investigation that blossomed and crossed the country with victims from Florida to New York.

Jackson was responsible for selling stolen identities he obtained from another suspect in Operation Zig Zag. The stolen identities were used to open up credit cards, utility accounts, and the filing of fraudulent income tax returns in the victims' names.

The joint investigation by the state attorney's office, the U.S. Secret Service, the Internal Revenue Service and the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office started in May when VyStar Credit Union contacted authorities after noticing irregular activity involving IRS refund checks.

After months of investigation, authorities were able to narrow down the number of stolen identities and how the personal information was stolen. The IRS has estimated 185 people had identities stolen, and more than $500,000 was cashed in fraudulent tax refund checks.

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