Long Island

Stolen vehicle stop on Long Island yields cache of unknown victims, police say

Joseph Rubino allegedly bought people's personal information illegally, and used it to get state driver's licenses -- and later new credit lines -- in their names, investigators say

Old Westbury Police

A suspected stolen vehicle stop on Long Island led to a litany of charges against the 35-year-old man behind the wheel, and investigators want the public to know he may have unsuspecting victims out there.

Joseph Rubino, of College Point was charged Wednesday with criminal possession of stolen property and other crimes, including unlawful possession of personal identification and a skimmer following a vehicle stop Tuesday -- after he was arrested following a traffic stop.

Old Westbury police say they identified the minivan he was driving as one reported stolen in Suffolk County a month prior and coordinated the stop.

Later, while processing Rubino and the vehicle, investigators allege they found New York state driver's licenses in various people's names, a credit card skimming device and debit cards in multiple names.

Police believe Rubino used a website and cryptocurrency to illegally buy the personal information of unsuspecting victims, targeting those with high credit scores who live in affluent areas. He allegedly used the information to get driver's licenses, and then open new lines of credit, in the victims' names. He bought cellphones on those credit lines, police allege, and resold them via an online app, authorities say.

Investigators say victims may not yet be aware they've been victimized. The Old Westbury Police Department is working with other law enforcement agencies to identify any potential victims. They didn't provide a total estimate.

Police say the booking process also yielded a "quantity of substances" that field-tested positive as fentanyl and methamphetamine. Rubino faces multiple counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance in addition to the other charges.

Information on a possible attorney for him wasn't immediately available. Rubino is expected to be arraigned Thursday.

Copyright NBC New York
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