MADIGAN: CHICAGO AREA WOMEN INDICTED FOR IDENTITY THEFT
Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced criminal charges against two Chicago area women alleged to have stolen the personal identities of more than 30 people living in the Chicago area and beyond to make more than $40,000 in fraudulent charges.
Delonda Glaze, of Riverdale, was arraigned today in Cook County Criminal Court on a 12-count indictment that includes charges of identity theft, theft by deception, continuing a financial crimes enterprise, financial institution fraud and forgery. Madigan also said an arrest warrant was issued for defendant Bridgette Buckner, of Bartlett, after she failed to appear Aug. 17 in Cook County Criminal Court. Buckner faces charges in a 14-count indictment of continuing a financial crimes enterprise, identity theft, financial institution fraud, theft by deception and mail fraud.
“The defendants in these cases stole the identities of dozens of unsuspecting consumers and racked up thousands of dollars in fraudulent charges,” Attorney General Madigan said. “Identity theft is a serious crime that can affect victims and their financial security for years. My office is here to help consumers protect their financial information or to assist them if they’ve been a victim of ID theft.”
Madigan said Glaze fraudulently obtained a credit card and used it to make a series of cash advances from several banks, including TCF, Bank Financial and First American Bank. In total, Glaze charged $11,000 from April to December 2010 using the identity of a victim living in Lombard. Madigan also alleged Glaze used fake identities to obtain a used car and forge phony checks.
In Buckner’s case, the Attorney General alleged that from September 2008 through August 2010 Buckner used the personal identities of eight people to access $50,000 in credit, making $30,000 worth of charges. Madigan said Buckner was found to have opened credit cards in consumers’ names, as well as two utility accounts for Commonwealth Edison and Nicor Gas. The investigation into Buckner revealed she was in possession of 29 different personal identities for victims living across the country.
The two cases were investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and are being prosecuted by Madigan’s Office.
Attorney General Madigan said identity theft remains a top concern among consumers today. In 2010, more than 3,800 complaints related to identity theft were reported to her office. Of those complaints, consumers reported incidents of fraudulent charges on their existing accounts, thieves opening new accounts in their names, including credit card, utility and cell phone accounts, and instances of bank fraud, such as stolen checks or fraudulent withdrawals made to a victim’s bank account.
Madigan urged consumers to contact her Identity Theft Hotline, (866) 999-5630 or TTY (877) 844-5461, for help in reporting crimes to local law enforcement and financial institutions, repairing credit and protecting their identities. The hotline, which is answered by trained advocates and attorneys, has received 33,000 calls since it was launched in February 2006.
Assistant Attorney General Anshuman Vaidya is handling the cases for Madigan’s Financial Crimes Bureau.