MO: Former police officer, wife plead guilty to ID theft targeting UCM students

Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a former officer for the University of Central Missouri Police Department and his wife have pleaded guilty in federal court to their roles in an identity theft conspiracy that targeted students at the university.

Amanda J. Drake, 30, of Warrensburg, Mo., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Fernando J. Gaitan this morning to the charge contained in an Aug. 12, 2009, federal indictment. Her husband, James B. Drake, 46, pleaded guilty to the same charge on Jan. 4, 2010.

By pleading guilty, the Drakes admitted that they stole a University of Central Missouri student enrollment list containing names, Social Security numbers and dates of birth. That identity information was used to fraudulently obtain credit cards in the students’ names. The government contends there were more than 250 victims of the conspiracy, with a total loss of more than $30,000.

During the time of the conspiracy, in May 2009, James Drake was a police officer with the University of Central Missouri Police Department.

Under federal statutes, James and Amanda Drake are each subject to a sentence of up to 20 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $250,000 and an order of restitution. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney William L. Meiners. It was investigated by the University of Central Missouri Police Department in conjunction with the FBI.

About the author: Dissent