A.G. SCHNEIDERMAN ANNOUNCES GUILTY PLEA OF QUEENS WOMAN FOR STEALING THE IDENTITIES OF THREE NURSING HOME RESIDENTS
Defendant Will Serve 2 To 4 Years In State Prison
NEW YORK— Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the guilty plea of Channel Francis, 40, of Rosedale, NY for fraudulently obtaining and using the credit cards of three elderly residents of the Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care and Rehabilitation in Queens to make purchases totaling $11,738. After pleading guilty to three counts of Identity Theft in the First Degree, a class D felony, and two counts of Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, Francis will serve 2 to 4 years in jail.
“Identity theft of any kind is reprehensible—especially when it exploits vulnerable New Yorkers like nursing home residents,” said Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. “My office will not tolerate it. We’ll continue to investigate these cases and bring crooks to justice.”
In September 2013, family members of three elderly residents of Parker Jewish reported suspicious activity, including unauthorized purchases on their loved one’s credit cards. The Attorney General’s investigation later revealed that Francis received the residents’ sensitive information from an unidentified friend who worked at the nursing home. She then added her identifying information to the residents’ credit card accounts and used their credit to purchase luxury items such as iPads, computers, high definition televisions, and designer handbags, among other items.
Additionally, investigators discovered that video surveillance of Francis using the stolen credit cards at multiple retail stores corresponded to account spending reports associated with each card. The investigation also uncovered that Francis made internet purchases using an e-mail address containing her name and then had the items shipped to her home address.
The Attorney General encourages New Yorkers to check credit card and bank statements frequently and carefully for any unauthorized activity. Consult the Attorney General’s full tips to protect against identity theft.
The Attorney General would like to thank the New York State Department of Health, the New York City Police Department, the Queens County District Attorney’s Office, Walgreens, and Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care and Rehabilitation for their assistance and cooperation in this investigation.
This case was investigated by Investigator Zahraa Majeed and Supervising Investigator Ronald Lynch, with the assistance of Deputy Chief Investigator Kenneth Morgan. Auditor Investigator Lisandra Defex conducted the financial analysis with the assistance of MFCU New York City Regional Chief Auditor Investigator Thomasina Smith.
Special Assistant Attorneys General Jonathan S. Reiner and Felicia L. Berenson-Reinhardt are prosecuting the case with the assistance of Confidential Legal Assistant Daniel Herzog, MFCU New York City Deputy Regional Director Twan V. Bounds and Regional Director Christopher M. Shaw. Thomas O’Hanlon is the MFCU Chief of Criminal Investigations-Downstate. MFCU is led by Director Amy Held and Assistant Deputy Attorney General Paul Mahoney.