Archer, that is a terrible horrible story! I'm really sorry to hear about it.
Don't get mad, you can do something about this, even now.
While this is unrelated, the fact that you had the names and address of the criminals makes me think of something from years ago. I owned some real estate and one of the tenants gave me 2 bad checks in a row for rent. The accounts were closed and I racked up several bounced check charges in addition, before I filed for eviction.
I wrote a letter to the local DA's office, with copies of the 2 checks. Neither check was particularly large, but I felt this woman was not only defrauding me, but likely many others as well. She ended up moving before the eviction could proceed and I forgot about it.
Months later, I got a call from the DA's office telling me she had been arrested, and that if she paid in full for the bad checks, she'd be released with charges dropped. I drove over to her new residence, and she gave me cash to cover both checks and the bounced check charges. Apparently, at the DA's office, only my letter was prosecuted and after she paid me, her charges were dropped.
The point of this is, if you write a letter to your local DA's office directly, clearly laying out the facts of your situation, with supporting documentation and helpfully, the law the people broke (cite your state statutes). The easier you make their case, the more likely they will respond.
From what you are saying, and how it angers you, it's probable that the statues of limitation has not run out (typically 7 years).
While there may not be a specific 'identity theft' clause in the California state statues, there is certainly something there that relates to theft and misuse of credit cards.
This will take you maybe an hour... here is the site to do your own search for statutes relevant to your situation for the State of California: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/statute.html
When I typed in the 'search' terms: Identity Theft
I came up with 1050 statutes pertaining, but most are not relevant to identity theft of credit cards. I randomly clicked on 2 of the statutes, and here's one that relates to yours (you will have to scan the rest to find other relevant statutes, but no one says you have to read them all, just scan the top 2 paragraphs and if they don't, move on): http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/waisgate...action=retrieve
I'd also search under the terms 'Credit Card'.
What I would write in your letter to your DA is how much pain and suffering you suffered from this situation, how in helping you, they are showing their proactivity in pursuing cases such as this which are becoming more widespread by the day.
Then, send copies of the 1. initial police report detailing your complaint, but most importantly the timeline. All copies of your interactions with the local police dept. 2. all copies of credit card receipts thereafter that were fraudulent. 3. details about how you traced those to the perpetrators. 4. the California statues that are relevant to your particular case to assist in prosecution.
This won't cost you anything for attorney fees, and looking up statutes and detailing the chronology and evidence of the crimes are all the prosecutors do.
Your letter also serves as a deposition stating how violated you felt and how you have actually FOUND the guilty parties, how you know they are guilty, and who have probably already moved on to another victim. If you have done their homework for them, prosecution is much easier.
Then, I'd make sure they knew that you also sent copies of the packet to at least 5 local media stations. If they don't take action, then someone will write a story about how devastating this is to people and their lives... and how the DA in Sacramento ignores these issues, even with EVERYTHING required to prosecute handed to them.
The District Attorney is an elected position... if the $35,000/year assistant prosecutors ignore well publicized cases completely... guess who's getting fired? There's no assistant DA alive who wouldn't like to take on a well documented high profile case which would be a career booster. But ignoring a case like this, with a clear culprit and victim, especially if you got some press, would be career suicide.
The police have to send the documents to the DA's office. The high profile crimes such as murder, rape, arson, kidnapping definitely are going to get more attention that a low profile identity theft case. But in your case, you know who the thieves are. It's the perfect time for California to show that they're going to do something about this kind of thing, since it's more and more becoming a voter issue.
Don't let this go. There's no reason for you to be the one suffering while the thieves laugh. $40,000 could well ruin a struggling family, and the bad credit could prevent them from ever owning a home. Today it's you, who will these same people prey upon tomorrow?
The entire process, if you move quickly in an organized way would take you a day or 2. For the pain and suffering you've already endured, for helping someone who may be the next victim, to publicize what could be done about this issue that has been high profile in the US for some time now (the reporters will LOVE this, if the DA doesn't help, I'd be willing to bet that the LA Times would). At the least, try.