IL: West Side woman accused of stealing identities of the elderly and disabled

Carlos Sadovi reports:

A West Side woman was charged in an identity-theft scheme that preyed on elderly and disabled nursing home residents, using their personal information to set up utility accounts for people who were delinquent on their bills in exchange for cash, officials said Thursday.

Officials estimate that Artestine Ramey stole at least $500,000 from Peoples Gas, according to the Cook County state’s attorney’s office.

Ramey, 61, of the 4100 block of West Potomac Avenue, is charged with several counts of felony theft, 21 counts of aggravated identity theft and six counts of identity theft after stealing the identities of numerous people, police said. Ramey, who was arrested Wednesday, was ordered held Thursday in lieu of $100,000 bail, prosecutors said.

Read more in the Chicago Tribune.

Note that once again, law enforcement has not revealed how the defendant allegedly acquired the identity information. Carlos Sadovi informs me that the state’s attorney’s office is not answering that question, citing their “ongoing investigation.” CBS News in Chicago reports that “Cook County authorities are still not sure who was supplying the women with the stolen identity information which included names, social security numbers and dates of birth.” So maybe this wasn’t a case where Ramey herself was employed at any facility where her victims were residents or patients.

I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

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