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Weld County Settles Lawsuit Over ID Theft Probe

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(credit: AP)

(credit: AP)

GREELEY, Colo. (AP) – Weld County will pay nearly $300,000 to settle a lawsuit by over a raid on a tax business that authorities said was aimed at stopping identity theft by illegal immigrants.

The commissioners said Monday they will pay the American Civil Liberties Union $295,000 for attorneys’ fees in the 2009 lawsuit against Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck and Sheriff John Cooke. Officials unsuccessfully appealed court decisions upholding the ACLU’s argument that seizure of more than 5,000 confidential tax documents without having the names of specific suspects violated people’s privacy.

The investigation began after a Texas man told Greeley authorities that someone there was using his identity. Authorities say about 1,300 of the files seized contained evidence of identity theft.

Most of the 142 cases filed were dismissed.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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