NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Two women from West Haven were charged with working together to steal the identities of more than 20 people via the mail throughout the New Haven area, according to U.S. Attorney Deirdre Daly.
Jamila Williams-Stevenson, 36, and Lorena Coburn, 42, are accused of stealing $50,000 through the scheme, Daly said.
According to a statement from Daly, both engaged in a scheme in which change of address applications were submitted to the U.S. Postal Service without their victims’ knowledge.
Once in control of the mail, the women stole the identities and financial data of more than 20 people and then used that information to intercept checks and open online bank accounts in their victims’ names, according to Daly. Stolen checks were eventually deposited into those accounts, she said.
After those check deposits, Williams-Stevenson and Coburn withdrew the money from ATMs and used the money to purchase money orders and re-loadable debit cards at retail stores, according to Daly.
Williams-Stevenson was arrested on July 21 and charged with bank fraud and aggravated identity theft. Coburn, who was arrested Wednesday, was charged with conspiracy to commit bank fraud.
Williams-Stevenson and Coburn were each released after posting $100,000 bond. Williams-Stevenson faces up to 30 years in prison while Coburn could receive up to two years if convicted.
Daly said the case was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Criminal Investigation Division at the Connecticut Financial Crimes Task Force, and the West Haven, New Haven and Orange police departments.
Anyone who suspects they may have been victimized by the alleged identity theft ring is urged to contact the U.S. Postal Inspection Service at 203-782-7391.