Trial Date Set for Champaign Couple Charged with Credit Card Fraud

A Champaign, Illinois couple, Karen D. Dooley, 29, and her husband, Michael J. Jefferies, 32, were arraigned in federal court in Urbana on various federal criminal offenses related to credit card fraud in a seven-count indictment.

The grand jury charged Dooley with conspiracy to commit credit card fraud (one count), credit card fraud (one count), aggravated identity theft (three counts), mail fraud (one count) and food stamp fraud (one count). Jefferies is charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit credit card fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.

According to the indictment, Dooley was formerly employed at a Champaign area medical center. The indictment alleges that Dooley used her position as a transporter, which allowed her access to patients’ medical records, personal information and personal belongings, to fraudulently obtain credit cards from patients in 2007 and 2008 and use the credit cards to make purchases at area stores and via the Internet. Purchases from use of the fraudulently obtained credit cards allegedly totaled more than $6,800. Jefferies is charged with using one of the credit cards to make purchases at area stores. Dooley is further charged with applying for a credit card via the Internet using the personal information of a medical center patient. Dooley allegedly received the credit card, in the patient’s name, at Dooley’s home address. The indictment further alleges that Dooley committed food stamp fraud when she failed to report income from her employment, resulting in her receiving overpayment of more than $5,000 in food stamp benefits.

If convicted, conspiracy to commit credit card fraud carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison; credit card fraud carries a maximum penalty of 15 years and aggravated identity theft carries a mandatory term of two years in prison. The offenses of mail fraud and food stamp fraud each carry a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000.

Both defendants entered pleas of not guilty and were released pending trial scheduled on February 8, 2010.

Source: U.S. Attorney’s Office, Central District of Illinois

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