She ended up being the fall-guy in a 55-member charity identity theft ring.
According to The New York Post:
A young UJA-Federation clerk apologized and wept as she was sentenced to at least six years in prison for selling the personal financial information of donors, including billionaire investor Ira Rennert and former AIG CEO Maurice “Hank” Greenberg.
Tracey Nelson, 25, had worked three years processing donations for the noted Jewish charity, Manhattan prosecutors said. But she moonlighted as a key player in a 55-member identity theft ring that stole the financial information of some 1,000 victims, they said.
A search of Nelson’s home had turned up hundreds of copies of checks and credit card numbers of UJA donors, prosecutors said. Nelson sold the donor information to others in the ring who used it to order duplicate credit cards or to create and then plunder dummy accounts in the donors’ names.
Amazingly, Nelson, who is the mother of a young boy, filed for and collected several unemployment checks after UJA canned her last year — even though she’d been tossed in jail. The checks were quickly halted when the authorities caught wise, officials said.
“She thought she was entitled to them,” in jail, her lawyer, Raymond Castello, explained to Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Analisa Torres.
“I am saddened and remorseful for my past actions,” Nelson said at the sentencing, directing her apology to the judge, her family and “the people of UJA.”
“My problems started because of my financial needs and wanting to better myself,” said Nelson, who had pleaded guilty to grand larceny earlier this month.
UJA-Federation authorities have stressed that no donor suffered financial losses in the massive scam.
“If there was any doubt that identity theft is a serious crime, today’s sentence removes it,” District Attorney Cyrus Vance said in a written statement.
“When individuals abuse a position of trust for personal gain, they cause financial damage to banks and deprive victims of their good credit, their time and their peace of mind,” he said.
Banks and credit card companies were the real victim of the ring — eating more than $2 million in losses as they reimbursed those whose identities were stolen, prosecutors said.
Images via NYPost