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Monday, July 6, 2009

Identity thief gets prison for Library of Congress identity theft

The below is a quote from Nedra Pickler with the Associated Press:

"A woman who worked with her cousin to steal the identities of 13 unsuspecting Library of Congress employees was sentenced Monday to two and a half years in prison.

Labiska Gibbs admitted that in spring 2008 she asked her second cousin William Sinclair Jr., who worked in the library's human resource department, to get her the names, birth dates and Social Security numbers of library workers from the payroll database. Sinclair was a drug addict and agreed if Gibbs got him some cocaine.

Gibbs opened several credit accounts in the names of those workers and spent nearly $40,000.
Prosecutors said she often bought gift cards that she would sell at a discount.

Gibbs, a 35-year-old mother from Washington with a history of identity and other theft, cried as she read a letter to her victims asking for their forgiveness. She said she struggles with the mental illness and is now taking medication for bipolar disorder.

'I know what I did was wrong,' she said. 'I totally understand the pain and hurt of what you've been through.'

U.S. District Judge Richard Roberts told Gibbs she would have to serve the prison sentence and pay back $30,000 to Target and other credit card issuers where she opened the fraudulent accounts. He denied her attorney's request to let her wait to begin repayments until after she serves her time, so any money she earns while behind bars can be used for toothpaste and other items available in prison.

'What you did was go on a spree of ripping off good people's names,' Roberts said. 'This is no slap on the wrist crime.'

The Library of Congress, the world's largest library, responded to the scam by spending $83,800 on credit monitoring for its employees. Sinclair also pleaded guilty for his role and was sentenced in May to three years probation."

The full article can be found at http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gS1kz9huU7a0aJZu3qBkqZrIvV-QD99945UO2.

If any of the identity theft victims read this and need any help or advice, please feel free to contact me by commenting or directly via e-mail at ckittell@merkel-cocke.com.

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