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Trail Of Cyber Crimes Lead To Winona Students

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WINONA  (AP) — A federal investigation has led agents to a pair of 22-year-old foreign-exchange students in Winona who are suspected of being part of an identity theft ring based in Vietnam.

Based on court documents unsealed last week and interviews with investigators says the ring has used the stolen identities of many Americans to fleece retailers out of millions of dollars.

Investigators claim the Winona State University students collected nearly $1.25 million in illicit funds by controlling more than 180 eBay accounts and more than 360 PayPal accounts.

Those accounts were used to order expensive merchandise. When the victims of the identity thefts protested the charges after the goods were shipped, the merchants were left holding the bag.

The students have not been formally charged.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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