Man charged with identity theft of nearly 90 players

December 20, 2006

Associated Press

Police have found personal information on White Sox slugger Jim Thome and Mets outfielder Moises Alou at the home of a man charged with identity theft.

David Dright, 38, faces 27 counts of identity theft involving "ordinary people" who live in Lake County outside Chicago, said Patricia Fix, chief deputy of the high-tech crime unit for the Lake County state's attorney's office.

Fix said a search of Dright's home Tuesday turned up personal information on retired and current ball players, including Chicago's Thome and New York's Alou. He's suspected of stealing the identities of almost 90 players, Lake County authorities said.

The information apparently came from trash bins outside Northbrook, Ill.-based SFX Baseball Inc., a sports agency headed by Pat Rooney and Fern Cuza that represents major and minor league players.

Dright allegedly went into trash bins outside SFX and took the personal information, Fix said. Evidence was found inside Dright's apartment after another man complained that Dright stole his identity, she said.

"Fortunately, it does not appear that any of our clients have been adversely affected," SFX General Counsel Robert Greenwald said in a statement issued Wednesday evening. "We will continue to work to ensure that no identities were compromised."

Bond was set Wednesday at $250,000. Dright is in custody in the Lake County Jail, in northeastern Illinois, and it was not immediately clear whether he had an attorney.

The alleged victim who first complained lives in Lincolnshire in Lake County. Lincolnshire police were helped in their investigation by the U.S. Secret Service and U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Fix said.

Evidence found in Dright's home included Social Security numbers, dates of birth, canceled paychecks, obituaries and infant death records.

Charges related to the baseball players would have to come from the counties where they live, Fix said. The police are contacting all the potential victims, she said.

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