From the NY Times:
The news media campaign was all set to go. There was even a Web site ready with a sympathetic profile of Alexander Alli, 49, the man the American Civil Liberties Union had chosen as the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit seeking custody hearings for more than 1,000 legal immigrants long locked up while they challenged the government’s efforts to deport them on the basis of criminal convictions.
But at the last minute someone at the civil liberties union checked the details of Mr. Alli’s criminal history. It turned out that Mr. Alli, a native of Ghana whose wife and three children, all United States citizens, live in the Bronx, had taken part in one of the biggest cases of identity theft in this country.
At least 30,000 people nationwide had been victimized in an intricate scheme by a loosely knit ring of 30 people, mostly Nigerian immigrants, according to law enforcement authorities and court documents. More than $50 million had been drained from credit cards and bank accounts.