Authorities: Coach accused of sexual assault also led ID theft ring

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A Monmouth County tennis coach facing charges for allegedly sexually assaulting his students is also accused of leading an identity theft ring, according to the Monmouth County prosecutor.

Terry Kuo and 15 others are facing charges after they were arrested during “Operation Plastic Army” – an investigation conducted by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office.

Officials say that the group, who dubbed themselves the “Plastic Army” racked up hundreds of thousands of dollars in charges using stolen identities.

RELATED: Youth tennis instructor faces additional sex-related charges 

Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni says that the scam is known as a “credit bust out.” He says that the Plastic Army ripped off retailers by opening lines of credit under other people’s names and then never paying off those charges. They are accused of buying high-end merchandise from stores like Best Buy, Tiffany's and Victoria's Secret.

Gramiccioni says that banks were also victimized. Kuo allegedly sold the merchandise, like iPads or Rolex watches through eBay or at pawn shops. That money was then placed in several bank accounts.

“We estimate the losses to exceed $400,000. And there were more than 120 credit cards fraudulently obtained and used as part of this charge-off scheme,” the prosecutor says.

Some of the money was turned into crypto-currency. Gramiccioni says that investigators seized $200,000 worth of bitcoin.

Kuo remains in jail for the original sexual assault charges.

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