ID Theft Mastermind Gets 9 Years wrote a story on the punishment for a recent Identity Theft case which shows how sentencing is finally catching up to the severity of this crime.

A Florida man who admitted masterminding an identity theft ring has been sentenced to nine years in federal prison and ordered to pay restitution.

Oscar Diaz and his confederates used items stolen from parked cars to get money from their victims’ bank accounts, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported. Prosecutors say they stole from people attending funerals.

“Diaz’s co-conspirators would even follow funeral processions in order to target cars parked at graveyards,” a release from Maryland U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein said.

Diaz, 30, of Fort Lauderdale pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Baltimore earlier this month to aggravated identity theft and conspiracy to commit bank fraud. At a hearing Friday he was ordered to pay the victims $130,000.

Investigators said Diaz and seven others, most of them from the Fort Lauderdale area, stole at least $200,000 during a few months in 2009. They stole identification from cars parked outside day-care centers, supermarkets and churches and used it to impersonate the victims at their banks.

Diaz’s co-defendants have already pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.

John Sileo speaks on information control, identity theft prevention and data breach avoidance. His clients include the Department of Defense, Pfizer and the FDIC. To learn more, contact him directly on 800.258.8076.