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Alleged Leader Of Identity Theft, Counterfeit Scheme In Downtown Crossing Arrested

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BOSTON (CBS) – An undercover operation involving state, local and federal investigators has led to the arrest of the leader of a large criminal operation in Downtown Crossing.

Investigators say the operation was led by 36-year-old Shahab David Yousheei of Brighton. He was arrested Thursday while purchasing counterfeit money on Boston Common.

“We allege that he led in an extensive scheme in which he used stolen or fraudulent identities to open new mobile phone accounts,” Attorney General Martha Coakley said. “Runners paid by him used those accounts to obtain smart phones and other high-end electronics.”

Investigators say Yousheei’s operation was based in a kiosk in Downtown Crossing at 449 Washington Street.

Authorities also say those stolen identities were used to create credit cards which were then used to bring even more cash into the operation.

They’ve been working on the case since last summer.

“We’ve uncovered wrong-doing centralized in a small shop on Washington Street,” Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis said. “This is an area we’re very concerned about and we pay close attention to.”

Local workers say Yousheei is a familiar face around Downtown Crossing.

Yousheei has been charged with identity theft, illegal possession of a credit card encoder, falsely making a credit card (3 counts), using a fraudulent credit card (2 counts), receiving goods purchased with a fraudulent credit card (2 counts) and possession of counterfeit money.

Authorities say the investigation is still wide open and they are continuing to search for clues.

Yousheei will be arraigned in Boston Municipal Court Friday morning.

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