Today’s news:

Corrections officer stole in-law’s ID: DA

A Far Rockaway corrections officer was charged last Thursday with stealing his sister-in-law's identity and using the information to open a jewelry store credit card account and write himself a personal check, Queens DA Richard Brown said.

Paulin Montauban, 39, of 434 Beach 58th St., was arrested last Thursday while he was working in Rikers Island on charges of forgery, criminal possession of a forged instrument, falsifying business records, identity theft, petit larceny, criminal possession of stolen property and unlawful possession of personal identifying information, the DA said.

He faces up to seven years in prison if convicted of the charges, Brown said.

Rajinder Montauban, the defendant's sister-in-law, allegedly found a bank statement tied to her checking account that showed a $180 canceled check was made to her brother-in-law in September 2007 in his handwriting and her name signed on the check, Brown said.

She also allegedly received a bank statement from a Zales jewelry store in April for a $577.36 watch purchased on an account opened in her name, the DA said.

The account had her Social Security number, but used a Florida address that used to belong to the defendant, Brown said.

The DA said the allegations were made more alarming because the defendant is a corrections officer.

"Identity theft is a growing problem and it is disheartening to have a member of the law enforcement community allegedly engaging in this serious crime," he said.

The defendant was suspended from his job pending the outcome of the case, Brown said.

Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at hkoplowitz@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 173.

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