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Woman charged with theft from Liberty merchants
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SAVANNAH — Jacqueline Denise Brown, 44, formerly of Hinesville, has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of mail fraud and identity theft for allegedly stealing thousands of dollars from Liberty County merchants to whom she may have passed fraudulent checks.
United States Attorney Edward J. Tarver said, “The indictment alleges that this defendant stole the identities of individuals in order to obtain bank checks in their names and accounts. She then passed those checks, wrongfully obtaining thousands of dollars in stolen goods and services. Because they often contain multiple victims, identity theft cases have an insidious effect on our communities. The U.S. Attorney’s Office will continue to commit resources to investigate and prosecute financial fraud, and to regain what victims of these crimes have lost.”
According to the indictment, between March and September 2008, Brown allegedly obtained the names and personal information of two individuals, including their bank account numbers. She then ordered checks in their names and had them delivered to various locations, including Atlanta and Hinesville. Brown then reportedly took the checks and falsely made herself out to be the true account holder, using fake driver’s licenses and other false identification documents.
The indictment charges Brown with one count of mail fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. In addition, the indictment charges the suspect with one count of aggravated identity theft, which requires a two-year consecutive prison sentence to any other sentence imposed. Tarver emphasized that an indictment is only an accusation and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is entitled to a fair trial, during which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The indictment of Brown stems from an investigation by United States Secret Service Special Agent Thomas Norris and Detective Charles Woodall of the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office.
Assistant United States Attorney Stephen T. Inman is prosecuting the case.
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