Convicted criminal says getting away with crimes 'is a rush'

Convicted criminal says getting away with crimes 'is a rush' »Play Video
EAGLE, IDAHO- Behind bars for identity theft and bank fraud. How does someone end up in that position? In this week's Truth Squad report Tami Tremblay takes you inside the mind of a criminal so you can protect yourself.

The man you will hear from in this story is serving a dozen years in Idaho for his crimes, and faces more time on federal charges.

"It almost seems like i got into a number of things all at once," he said.

The man granted the interview with the Better Business Bureau only asking his name not be announced to the public. Here, we will call him John.

"I guess I felt like I had to compete with the Jones'," he said.

His college roommate left a credit card out on a table in 1990, and he says that was the beginning of his life as a criminal.

"I just grabbed the card and used if for what I needed if for," he said.

"It's like pushing on the envelope looking for a soft spot looking to get in," said Dale Dixon, Better Business Bureau President.

Dixon says he jumped at the opportunity to talk with the convicted felon.

"To get inside the mind of a criminal like this and we can show people, this is how he did it, it brings it to life," said Dixon.

John says after getting away with racking up his roommate's credit card things progressed, and he got into identity theft.

"Honestly, I kinda slide into it without thinking of it as crime because i wasn't robbing with a gun or hitting someone on the head," he said.

He would go to a website and for only $49 and buy someone's identification. John says he could get anyone's social security number.

"The last 5-6 years with technology it's scary," he said. "It's just a difficult world."

He says many people make it easy on criminals too, by posting information about themselves online so they can better "claim" your life. John says it's a rush.

"Being able to get away with it; feeling like I out smarted the system."

But finally in 2000 he did get caught in Idaho for laundering money.
John had a house on the 14th fairway of the Banbury Golf Course in Eagle and owned bars in Twin Falls.

He says he would cash bad checks at multiple banks and pass them from one to another. However, freud examiner and BSU professor, Neal Custer, says he didn't do it alone.

"There was a lot of sharing of resources and information going on, not only locally, but other areas of the country," said Custer.

Plus, John says those people have not been caught and there's a lot of money coming in.

"In three days time I could make $18,000-$20,000."

That brings to light the importance of always keeping your guard up and checking your bank statements and credit reports often.

The BBB will use the interview to help consumers be aware of how criminals think, and Custer plans to include it in his BSU class on crime analysis this fall.