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NEWS RELEASE

OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY

WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI


JOHN F. WOOD


Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html


MARCH 17, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


FORMER PRISONER, FORMER STATE EMPLOYEE SENTENCED

FOR $160,000 FRAUD, IDENTITY THEFT


STATE PRISONERS CHARGED PHONE CALLS

TO IDENTITY THEFT VICTIMS


            JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Kansas City, Mo., man who was formerly incarcerated in a state prison and a Jefferson City, Mo., woman who was formerly employed by the Missouri Department of Revenue were each sentenced in federal court today for participating in a $160,000 fraud conspiracy that involved stealing the identities of other persons and using them to provide cell phone service to state prison inmates.


            Clayton J. Deardorff, 30, of Kansas City, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Scott O. Wright this morning to five years and five months in federal prison without parole. Co-defendant Erica Daniece Kelley, 29, of Jefferson City, was sentenced to five years of probation. The court also ordered Deardorff and Kelley to pay more than $160,000 in restitution, for which they are jointly and severally liable.


            Deardorff and Kelley are among seven co-defendants charged in a May 31, 2007, federal indictment, all of whom have pleaded guilty. From January 2002 through December 2006, conspirators used stolen identity information, such as names and Social Security numbers, to set up multiple accounts for cell phone service so that inmates at state corrections facilities could communicate with the defendants and others outside prison.


            Among the identity theft victims were mentally disabled and other residents of group homes in Jefferson City and Columbia, Mo., Sprint customers, and Missourians whose information was stolen by two employees of the state Department of Revenue. The fraud scheme resulted in more than $80,000 in unpaid telephone charges as well as additional losses for credit card accounts that were opened using stolen identities.


            Co-defendant Angie Marie Roark, 30, of New Bloomfield, Mo., was sentenced on Feb. 5, 2008, to five years and 10 months in federal prison without parole. Co-defendant Brenda McKay Adams, 34, of Jefferson City, was sentenced on Feb. 5, 2008, to five years of probation. Roark and Adams are also jointly and severally liable for more than $160,000 in restitution.


            Clayton Deardorff was incarcerated at various Missouri prisons, including the Tipton, Mo., Correctional Facility. Clayton Deardorff recruited his wife, Robin Lynette Deardorff, 32, of Kansas City, and others to steal identity information so he and others inside prison could make telephone calls. Robin Deardorff worked at a Jefferson City nursing home operated by New Horizons Community Support Services, Inc., where she had access to identity information of residents of the home. Robin Deardorff stole this information to set up the phone lines and order cell phones. A sentencing hearing for Robin Deardorff has not yet been scheduled.


            Kelley was an employee of the Missouri Department of Revenue, Motor Vehicle Bureau until January 2003. In this position, she had access to identification of Motor Vehicle Bureau customers, which she delivered to co-conspirators during the scheme. Kelley admitted that she provided conspirators with personal information from 10 to 15 individuals.


            Roark was an employee of Sprint PCS at various times, where she had access to identity information of Sprint customers. Her position at Sprint and her knowledge of the company’s methods and operating procedures enabled her to assist the other conspirators in the scheme. In addition, she had land lines installed and cell phones delivered to her residence as part of the scheme.


            Adams participated in the conspiracy during 2005 and 2006 by using her home address to have telephone lines installed and cell phones delivered, all of which had been ordered as part of the fraud scheme.


            Co-defendant Krystal G. Stephens, 22, of Jefferson City, was a part-time employee of the Missouri Department of Revenue, Division of Taxation and Collection from 2003 to 2005 and had access to identification information of division customers. She delivered 10 to 20 names and Social Security numbers to co-conspirators as part of the scheme.


            Co-defendant Anna M. Stephens, 31, of Jefferson City, the sister of Krystal Stephens, was an employee of United Telephone Company (Sprint) at various times, where she had access to customers’ identification information and knowledge of the company’s methods and operating procedures. She used that information to assist the conspirators in their scheme, and also had phone lines installed and cell phones delivered to her residence.


            Sentencing hearings for Krystal Stephens and Anna Stephens have not yet been scheduled.


            Prisoners in the Missouri Department of Corrections are allowed to make calls while confined, but have to have a method to pay for the calls. Often this is done by making collect calls. Conspirators set up phone lines and purchased cell phones using the stolen identities so that inmates could make the collect calls. The calls from the prison would then be automatically directed and forwarded from a local number to a cell phone. Generally the fraudulently-opened telephone services would continue until the telephone company canceled the service for non-payment.


            This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U. S. Attorney Anthony P. Gonzalez. It was investigated by the Missouri Attorney General’s Office, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development - Office of Inspector General.


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This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, is available on-line at

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html