Thieves Sentenced in 2 Identity Theft Cases

Three identity thieves are going to prison, one for her role in victimizing the poor and homeless, and two others for targeting federal employees in an elaborate identity theft ring that affected 450 people.

ID Theft Ring in DC Targeted Federal Workers

Two Washington, D.C.-area residents are going to prison for their roles in an identity theft ring that targeted federal employees, according to the Federal Times.

As an employee of an insurance company that catered to federal workers, many of them stationed overseas, Adrienne Pritchett stole the identities of more than 450 customers, the Department of Justice said in a news release. Court filings say that Pritchett’s boyfriend then used the identities to make fake drivers’ licenses that Jamille Ferguson and other ring members used to buy gift cards and merchandise on credit at the victims’ expense.

Pritchett will serve 57 months behind bars, followed by four years of supervised release after pleading guilty to bank fraud and aggravated identity theft, according to the DOJ.

Ferguson, who had also accepted a plea bargain last fall, will serve three years in prison and four years supervised release for access device fraud and aggravated identity theft.

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Homeless, Disabled Victims of ID Theft

A 55-year-old Georgia woman was sentenced for an identity theft scheme that took place over five years, according to a Department of Justice news release.

Cora Cadia Ford was convicted for using various methods to convince the poor, homeless and disabled to give her their personal information. She then prepared fraudulent tax returns between 2007 and 2011 by using their names and Social Security numbers.

Sometimes she offered to apply for nonexistent grants on their behalf. 

Ford, who also ran a small church, told her victims that she would file a tax return on their behalf and it would be “a gift from God.”  She used the victims’ identifying information to prepare and file false tax returns, and kept the entire tax refund for herself

Some of the victims whose names and Social Security numbers were used had their disability benefits reduced or eliminated for a period of time. 

One victim testified that the cut in her disability benefits left her unable to afford her own medications.

Cadia pleaded guilty in September 2013 to mail fraud, aggravated identity theft, and filing false claims with the government.

Ford was sentenced last week to nine years and three months in prison followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $100,015 in restitution.

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