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Worthington man charged with identity theft

WORTHINGTON -- It has taken some time, but a man who applied for a loan using another person's Social Security number in 2008 is now facing three felonies in Nobles County District Court.

Randall Lobel, 49, of Milford, Iowa, was charged last week with identity theft and two counts of residential mortgage fraud.

In February, Lobel was charged with theft by swindle and theft in regard to scaffolding equipment rented and not returned to a local company.

That case is still pending.

The criminal complaint filed this week states authorities were contacted by an investigator from a financial institution, who said Lobel applied for a loan using a false Social Security number.

The number he allegedly gave as that of another person who lives in Alabama.

That person said he did not give anyone permission to use his number.

Loan application paperwork included pay stubs that listed Lobel as an employee of A-Plus Printing of Mankato, with a salary of more than $1,000 per week.

The pay stub lists the same Social Security number Lobel gave to the financial institution.

The application, made at a Worthington branch office, was for a $135,000 for a private residence.

The loan was secured by property in Welcome.

The person who completed the paperwork with Lobel said Lobel never produced his Social Security card, and just gave him the number verbally.

Other information in the file stated Lobel was a district sales manager for A-Plus Printing of Herman with a monthly salary of $6,000, and that the Welcome address was his home address with a property value of $275,000.

The investigator told authorities Lobel had taken out another loan with their Alexandria branch, but the pay stubs for that loan stated he was an employee of the printing service in Herman.

He had used the same Social Security number he gave the Worthington branch.

In November 2009, authorities spoke with Lobel, who stated the number was a federal tax ID number from his printing business in Herman, which he had recently sold.

He said he would contact his ex-wife in California and get the paperwork that went with the federal number.

A month later, he said he had not yet received the information.

An investigator with the Social Security office verified the number Lobel used was a SSN from the victim in Alabama.

He also verified Lobel's number, which was in no way similar to the number Lobel had submitted.

Authorities in Herman told an investigator in Worthington that Lobel's alleged business was a small operation.

It appears, the complaint states, that Lobel submitted a pay stub that erroneously lists him as an employee with a substantial salary and weekly commission, rather than the owner of a small business.

The case regarding the rental company has not yet been resolved.

The complaint regarding theft by swindle states Lobel gave an Albert Lea address when he filled out the rental agreement, but that address later turned out to be the address of a shipping company.