Woman uses public databases for ID theft

May 19, 2011 1:04:14 PM PDT
A Houston woman has used public databases of the names of people owed money by the government to commit identity theft and steal the cash. Prosecutors on Thursday announced Roxann Michelle Thomas pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit mail fraud and aggravated identity theft. The case involves nearly $500,000 in Texas and Harris County funds obtained in January and February.

The investigation began in early 2010 with a tip from regulators in Indiana. TD Ameritrade Bank also advised agents that numerous tax refund checks were deposited into one account opened using a stolen identity.

Prosecutors say a Feb. 23 search of a Houston apartment used by Thomas turned up checks made out to other people and fake IDs.

Thomas faces up to 20 years in prison. Sentencing is Oct. 17.