Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that Jamila Williams-Stevenson,
37, of West Haven, was sentenced to 48 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for operating a fraud and identity theft scheme.
According to court documents and statements made in court, between 2012 and July 2016, Williams-Stevenson and Lorena Coburn worked together to steal personal identifying information from victims and commit fraud using the stolen information.
The sources of the personal identifying information included patients at Yale New Haven Hospital, where Williams-Stevenson worked as a care companion.
As part of the scheme, she and Coburn submitted to the U.S. Postal Service change of address applications for their victims so that the victims’ mail, including checks that were intended for the victims, would be diverted from the victims’ true addresses to addresses that were controlled byWilliams-Stevenson and Coburn.
The two women also stole checks from residential and business mailboxes and then counterfeited the checks so that they were payable to their identity theft victims. They then opened bank accounts in the names of identity theft victims, deposited the stolen and counterfeit checks into those accounts, and then withdrew the funds from those accounts.
Williams-Stevenson and Coburn also obtained a life insurance policy in the amount of $75,000 in the name of an identity theft victim, and Williams-Stevenson was named as the beneficiary on the policy.
Forensic analysis of Williams-Stevenson’s iPhone, which was seized at the time of her arrest, revealed a series of text messages between her and Coburn discussing how they might be able to cause the death of this victim in order to collect on the life insurance policy.
More than 30 individuals were victimized through this scheme, resulting in an attempted loss of more than $150,000 to banks and victims.
Williams-Stevenson was arrested on July 21, 2016. On that date, agents executed searches at her house and storage unit and found more than 200 unique credit and debit cards in the names of various identity theft victims.
Judge Bolden ordered Williams-Stevenson to pay restitution of $53,365.37 to various financial institutions and a university that suffered financial losses.
Williams-Stevenson has been detained since her arrest. On December 12, 2016, she pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft. Coburn, of West Haven, pleaded guilty to the same charges on November 30, 2016, and is released on a $100,000 bond pending sentencing.
This matter is being investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division, the Connecticut Financial Crimes Task Force and the West Haven, New Haven and Orange Police Departments. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarala V. Nagala.