According to the Virginia State Code, it's against the law for people to use someone else's identifying information — name, birthdate and social-security number — to obtain services for themselves. Doing so without that person's permission, and with the intent to defraud, is illegal.
But Fairfax County police believe that a Fair Lakes man has done just that, and they've charged him accordingly. He is Inder Bajaj, 62, of 4239 Hunt Club Circle, Apt. 1333, in Fairfax. In a June 11 affidavit seeking a search warrant for that location, police Det. Julius Pearl detailed the case against him.
The detective spoke with a 31-year-old Germantown, Md., woman, May 29, about a complaint she'd filed with police on April 23. (Centre View is not identifying her because she is a victim).
Pearl wrote that she told him she'd responded to a flyer posted at a Giant Foods store in the City of Fairfax. The flyer stated that Bajaj had an apartment for rent and, since she was looking for one in this area, she contacted him.
"She met with Bajaj at her work and she filled out an application, which provided him with her personal information," wrote Pearl. "She also gave him a letter stating what her income was from her employer."
THEY WENT TO an apartment complex in Centreville where Bajaj showed her an apartment. But while he was doing so, wrote the detective, the woman became suspicious of him. "Bajaj gave the impression that they were going to be living in the same apartment," wrote Pearl. "She is married and was looking for housing for her family, so she advised him she would not rent from or with him."
However, said Pearl, Bajaj kept coming to where she worked so, on May 20, she notified police about it. Then on May 27, she was contacted by Mr. Wane, employed by the Avalon community at Autumn Woods. He asked her about her application not being signed and said it could not be processed further without her signature.
"The application had her name, date of birth, social security number and driver's license number on it, as well as several other pieces of personal information," wrote the detective. "All the information had been typed." The woman then told Pearl she'd been so upset in April that she didn't think to get back the application form she'd handed to Bajaj. She also said she "did not fill out an application for that community and had not submitted it."
Pearl met with Bajaj on June 5 at the Fair Oaks District Station. "He admitted that he showed [the woman] an apartment in Centreville and state[d] that he never heard back from her husband to finalize moving in," wrote Pearl. "He state[d] that he also went by her work to drop off applications for the property at Avalon, but he left the applications with an unknown person."
Pearl said Bajaj told him that he "only submitted his application, and not hers, and that he had no idea how hers got submitted. He stated he was never told that he did not qualify on his salary alone to rent at the Avalon community." Pearl wrote that Bajaj told him he was submitting a letter to his apartment complex because of a dispute he was having with his roommate and that was why he was looking for a new apartment and roommate.
ON JUNE 6, the detective met with staff at the Hermitage Apartments where Bajaj resides. There, wrote Pearl, he learned Bajaj is "constantly in the office and leaves notes that are usually typed."
On June 9, wrote Pearl, Wane remembered showing Bajaj a two-bedroom apartment which "Bajaj stated he wanted to reserve, that same day. Bajaj submitted two checks for the deposit and application fee. [Wane] stated that Bajaj referred to a female roommate, but never by name."
According to the detective, Wane told Bajaj he needed to gross twice the rent to qualify — and it was on special for $1,115/month. Wrote Pearl: "He [said] Bajaj stated he could qualify on his own, but would probably have a roommate."
Wane wasn't clear how he received the documents but, wrote the detective, "He believes Bajaj left the two checks and application with him that day. He states that [the victim's] application was on his desk, folded in an envelope, a few days later."
Wane told Bajaj the woman had to sign her application in person and pay her $50 application fee. According to Pearl, Wane said Bajaj gave the fee to maintenance after the office was closed. Wane decided to contact the woman to see when she'd sign the form.
"He thought it unusual that the form was typed," wrote Pearl. "At that time, he [discovered] the form was not filled out or submitted by [the victim]. The only form folded was the typed application. On Bajaj's application, he listed his monthly salary as being $1,500."
Wrote Pearl: "The only person to gain from this fraudulently submitted application ... [and] from the use of [the victim's] personal information is Mr. Bajaj."
Police executed the search warrant at Bajaj's home, June 12, and seized a Brother typewriter. The next day, police obtained warrants for his arrest, charging him with identity theft and attempting to obtain services by fraud. He has a July 29 court date.