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Sioux Falls man arrested for identity theft


WORTHINGTON -- A Sioux Falls, S.D. man was arrested Sunday in Nobles County after giving a peace officer a false name and a device known to commit fraud and identity theft was discovered in his vehicle.

Seeit Blay, 22, has been charged with felony identity theft — possessing a scanning device or re- encoder with intent to commit, aid or abet unlawful activity; and giving a peace officer a false name, a gross misdemeanor.

The charges stem from a Dec. 3 traffic stop after a Worthington police officer witnessed Blay following too closely behind another vehicle while also not having front or rear license plates.  

According to the criminal complaint, upon contact, the officer noticed temporary stickers provided by a car dealership that had not yet expired.

When asked for personal information, Blay allegedly gave the officer a name and birthdate of another person. A re-encoder was also discovered. A re-encoder is commonly used to place encoded information relating to an actual credit card onto a magnetic strip of a payment card being fraudulently produced, thereby allowing the payment card holder to make seemingly unauthorized transactions.

A variety of Visa, Mastercard and American Express gift/debit cards were also collected from Blay’s vehicle as evidence.

Upon further investigation of the cards, 23 were allegedly believed to have been cloned, the complaint states. Two of the cards, which were each associated with Wells Fargo bank accounts, were confirmed by the bank as being reported as fraudulent, the complaint concludes.

Blay’s bail was set at $3,000 with conditions or $15,000 without.

If convicted of the felony-level offense, Blay faces a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment and/or a $10,000 fine.