Maryland Woman Charged With Identity Theft
People from all walks of life—even upstanding professionals—are attracted to money. Many will go to great lengths to get their hands on a large sum of money—even if it’s someone else’s money.
This is what a Maryland woman did. She stole $398,000 from a Texas man’s retirement account. The 41-year-old woman from Essex has been charged with identity theft.
The woman has been charged with multiple crimes, including forgery, receiving stolen property, unlawful taking, and theft by deception—all felonies. The criminal charges stem from fraud involving Ameritas Life Insurance. The insurance company contacted the attorney general’s office in April, claiming that a client had $398,000 taken from his 401(k) account.
The fraud scheme began in February, when the woman contacted Ameritas and unlocked the account after providing the man’s personal information. The woman then changed the email address and password associated with the account.
Later that day, the woman submitted a rollover withdrawal request for approximately $248,000. A check for the amount was sent to the woman’s address in Maryland.
That was not all. The next month, the woman initiated another withdrawal request. This time, it was for $149,000. That check was mailed to a woman in Harrison, Arkansas.
The account holder later contacted Ameritas to inform them that he did not authorize the withdrawals. The $248,000 check was traced to the woman. It is unknown who received the other check. It does not appear as if the woman has been arrested.
How Identity Theft Happens
Identity theft requires personal data, which can be obtained in various ways. Some cases of identity theft are perpetrated by someone the victim knows, so the person already knows the victim’s personal information.
Identity theft can also happen through phishing, hacking, and data breaches. Data breaches can provide a lot of information, such as names, addresses, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers.
Thieves then use this personal information to create a new identity. They may make purchases or create new accounts. They may also commit insurance fraud, file fraudulent tax returns, and even sell your information to others.
If a victim is alert and proactive, they may be able to catch the identity theft right away. In some cases, though, it could take many months to catch and correct the issue. This is especially true if the victim is a child.
Contact a Maryland Criminal Defense Attorney Today
Identity theft crimes are often punished harshly, especially when large sums of stolen money are involved. Because these crimes often cross state lines, the FBI often gets involved.
You’ll likely face state and federal charges. Don’t handle them on your own. Seek legal help from the Columbia white collar crime lawyers at the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, P.A. We’ll work to get you the best defense possible for these crimes. Schedule a free consultation today by filling out the online form or calling (410) 774-5987. We have two offices to serve you.