A recent story by NBC Los Angeles broke the news of a $1.4 million dollar theft from Donald Bren, a Southern California real estate mogul and the 45th wealthiest man in the world. His tax refund check was stolen in one of the biggest single cases of identity fraud ever. The thief opened several bank accounts using a driver’s license, name, and social security number stolen from Bren. The man then deposited the stolen check before transferring more than a million dollars elsewhere.
Though the real identity of the thief is still unknown, the surveillance cameras at the bank did get a good view of him. While the 78-year-old Bren has been described as “trim” and “dapper” by the Los Angeles Times, the thief was “balding, heavyset, and considerably younger.” When opening the bank account under Bren’s name, his occupation was listed as “smoke shop.” Investigators are now trying to find this man and track down the missing $1.1 million from Bren’s federal tax-refund check.
According to the authorities, Bren will not be liable for the missing check. The bank or its insurance will be covering the amount.