Bishopville woman pleads guilty to federal identity theft - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Bishopville woman pleads guilty to federal identity theft

Source: Raycom Media Source: Raycom Media

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) – A 29-year-old Bishopville woman entered a guilty plea in federal court in Florence on Wednesday to identity theft, according to a news release from the U.S. District Attorney’s Office.

U.S. District Judge Bruce Howe Hendricks of Florence accepted Lauren E. Blackwell’s guilty plea.

He will sentence Blackwell after she reviews the presentence report that will be prepared by the U.S. Probation Office.

Evidence presented at the hearing showed that while Blackwell was working as a nursing assistant at a health care facility when she gained access to personal identifying information (PII), including social security numbers and dates of birth, of patients and co-workers at the hospital.

Blackwell used the information to apply for unauthorized credit card accounts with the stolen identities.

She successfully opened 15 such accounts and charged thousands of dollars in merchandise on several of them.

U.S. District Attorney Bill Nettles said identity theft is a violation of U.S. Code title 18, section 1028a of paragraph 7, which holds a maximum penalty of 15 years imprisonment and/or a $250,000 fine.

Agents of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney A. Bradley Parham of the Florence office is prosecuting the case.

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