Affidavit: Notebook with identity theft plans found after SouthPark Mall arrest

by: Blake Hanson Updated:

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Authorities discovered a notebook with handwritten notes on how to commit identity theft after a man was arrested for doing just that at an upscale store at SouthPark Mall.

Among the steps was one that read, "Sit back and let the money flow," court records said.

Federal authorities filed bank fraud and aggravated identity theft charges against Joshua Cho on Thursday, court records show. The charges stem from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s Police Department's arrest of Cho in 2016.

According to an affidavit filed in federal court, Cho visited the Neiman Marcus at SouthPark Mall in September and used another person's identity to open up a credit card account with the store. Cho showed the customer service representative a driver's license with the identity theft victim's information and Cho's photo, authorities said.

Authorities said Cho then purchased a $665 pair of shoes. He then returned two days later to purchase a purse that cost more than $4,000.

Loss prevention personnel became suspicious and officers from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department stopped Cho shortly after he left the store with the purse. The officers arrested Cho on identity theft charges.

The investigation didn't stop, however.

A Four Points by Sheraton Hotel in Pineville evicted Cho from a room just a few days later, according to the affidavit. Staff phoned the Pineville Police Department, asking that officers come to collect some of the items that had been left in the room.

Officers reportedly found counterfeit driver's licenses, Rolex watches, stolen mail, phones and a notebook with handwritten notes on how to commit identity theft.

One step said: "Find Perfect Victims Age 30-43," according to the affidavit. The plan also stated, "Delegate Duties," which authorities believe is in reference to other suspects involved in the alleged conspiracy.

A court date for Cho has not been scheduled. Channel 9 was unable to find addresses or contact information to reach Cho.

Federal court records have not yet listed an attorney for him. 

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