|8/28/2007 – STATESVILLE –Iredell County sheriff’s investigators have arrested and charged a Statesville woman in the theft of her deceased uncle’s identity to obtain credit cards, Sheriff Phil Redmond said in a news release.
Investigators charged Karen Marie Woods, 39, with six counts of identity theft and one count each of common law uttering and financial transaction card fraud. All are felonies, Redmond said.
Woods was in the Iredell County Detention Center this morning under a $100,000 secured bond.
The investigation began after Wilma Wood, widow of the late James Wood, filed a police report on May 29 saying she’d received mail indicating a recently opened American Express account in her husband’s name and notification from the U.S. Postal Service of a change-of-address request for him, Redmond said.
The investigation revealed that Wood’s name had been used to apply for numerous credit cards and personal loans, Redmond said. The purpose of the change-of-address request was to prevent Wilma Wood from discovering crimes against her deceased husband, the sheriff said.
Investigators charged Karen Woods, originally a Wood who married a Woods, with using one of the issued credit cards at the Super Wal-Mart in Statesville. Sheriff’s Detective Lt. Stanley Watkins obtained video of the transaction.
Inspector Chad Parnell of the U.S. Postal Service is assisting in the investigation because of the change of address request and the use of the U.S. mail service, Redmond said.
Investigators searched Woods’ home and found numerous documents containing personal information for James Wood and information related to online computer applications for credit cards and loans, Redmond said.
Also located was a handwritten list of a couple of hundred names, social security numbers and what appear to be nursing license numbers, Redmond said. That information was passed on to a supervisor at the Statesville Social Security Administration office, which is requesting the Office of Inspector General in Washington assign an investigator to review the information, Redmond said.
Watkins notified the N.C. Board of Nursing regarding the nursing license numbers. It appears that some of the information may have been used to try to obtain employment through referrals at the Employment Security Commission, Redmond said.