With hackers making spectacular inroads into major networked databases, the threat of identity theft is bigger than ever. People must remain vigilant over their credit cards, identification cards and social security information. In Nassau County recently a 24-year-old woman was arraigned for felony charges of grand larceny, identity theft, fraud and other charges. She is accused of being part of an identity theft ring and of stealing the identities of hospital patients to make store purchases in the New York metropolitan area.
In all, the woman was arrested on four felony charges. The authorities charge that since 2011 she has been working with an identity theft ring, and that she has obtained stolen identities from patients at the North Shore Hospital. The information was then used to make purchases at local stores such as Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s.
She was actually arrested in June 2011 at a Bloomingdale’s store trying to make purchases under the name of a North Shore hospital patient. She was a fugitive since Sept. 2011, when she failed to appear for a court date. She was arrested recently in Virginia on a traffic violation and taken into custody for the identity theft charges. She waived extradition and was returned to New York.
One of the suspect’s alleged co-conspirators, a 57-year-old Brooklyn man, was convicted of similar charges and sentenced to six months in jail and five years’ probation. Another alleged co-conspirator was sentenced to one year in jail. It will be interesting to see whether she gets a steeper sentence based on the fact that she left the jurisdiction of the court during the original prosecution of the charges.
She is represented by criminal defense counsel. Under New York law, she will face a number of preliminary proceedings prior to the trial of the case. If the case is not settled by way of an agreed plea agreement on the felony charges between now and the trial date, the case will go to trial and guilt will be determined by a jury.
Source: longisland.com, "Brooklyn Woman Charged with Stealing Identities of Hospital Patients", , May 24, 2014