According to 9 News in Denver, James Hartman was convicted and sentenced to 8 years in prison for spending $3.2 million on vehicles and land using his brother’s photocopied driver’s license and social security number. Investigators are still trying to understand how this man could do so much spending damage with virtually zero credentials. Details, inside…
From May through July, 2006, Hartman went on a spending spree with a shopping list that included:
- 1 Pickup truck for $48,000 on June 5th
- 1 Pickup truck for $49,000 on June 10th
- 2 Dodge Durangos for $77,000 on June 14th
- 1 Dodge Viper for $94,000 on June 24th
Additionally, Hartman signed agreements to buy 2 ATV’s, an RV, 2 houses and mountain property which came to $3.2 million. “Did I go overboard in buying a few vehicles. Probably did,” Hartman said from the Jefferson County Jail. “But it wasn’t identity theft. My brother approved of all of it. I didn’t have the credit. He did. So we used his driver’s license and Social Security number to make the purchases.” Yeah, right.
Hartman’s brother Ed was unaware of any of the purchases until he received a call from a suspicious employee at the ATV dealer. She asked for the original driver’s license and when Hartman couldn’t produce it she called the cops and he was arrested. Ultimately, all the purchased vehicles were recovered.
We’re amazed to see how much damage can be done with a mere social security number and photocopied driver’s license. It underscores the importance of keeping your identification safe and your SSN private. It seems like common sense that businesses should require an original, non-photocopied piece of identification, especially for extravagant items. Apparently, these businesses were too eager to make the big sale to consider such trivialities.