A 40-year-old Lady Lake woman who entered a guilty plea for her involvement in a "wide-ranging identity theft scheme" will be sentenced next month in federal court for making unauthorized use of at least 92 medical patients' Social Security numbers, according to federal prosecutors.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, the woman apparently admitted that while employed at Villages Endoscopy & Surgical Center near The Villages retirement community she played an active role in stealing patients' identities, filing federal income-tax returns seeking fraudulent refunds and obtaining and using fraudulent credit cards.

The woman pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, three counts of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft. Her sentencing is scheduled for June in West Palm Beach.

social security cardShe faces a maximum of 20 years in prison for each count of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and a mandatory term of two years in prison for the aggravated identity theft charge, which will run consecutively to any other sentence.

This woman was apparently the last of six defendants to plead guilty in the case.

Identity theft involves the stealing of another's identifying information in order to commit a crime. This information often includes another person’s Social Security number, driver’s license number, credit card number, bank account information or any other sensitive information that can be used to take on someone else’s identity. Most identity theft cases involve the theft of another person’s identity for personal financial profit.

Identity theft is a serious white collar offense that can be charged as a federal crime. It is often charged alongside other crimes, such as wire fraud, mail fraud or conspiracy. Aggravated identity theft is a more serious charge of this crime. A conviction has a mandatory two-year sentence that must be served consecutively to any other sentence. Consecutive sentencing means that the prison terms run one after the other, so if a person is sentenced to three years for a first offense and two years for a second offense, then the person will serve a total of five years.

Challenging a charge of aggravated identity theft can be a difficult task. If you are under investigation for this federal crime or have already been charged, you must act fast and enlist the help of a Villages White Collar Crime Attorney at Whittel & Melton so that we can protect your rights and establish a hard-hitting defense. To discuss your case and your legal options with us, please call us today at 352-369-5334 or contact us online for a free initial consultation. These charges are very serious, so it is best to not delay.