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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


JUNE 24, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


KC WOMAN INDICTED FOR IDENTITY THEFT SCHEME


            KANSAS CITY, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Kansas City, Mo., woman was indicted by a federal grand jury today for her role in an identity theft and bank fraud scheme.


            Margie P. Shephard, 44, of Kansas City, was charged in a five-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Kansas City.


            Today’s indictment alleges that Shephard participated in a conspiracy to steal identity information from both individuals and institutions, which was used to open bank accounts in the names of individual victims and to create counterfeit payroll checks in the names of institutional victims. Shephard allegedly used the individual bank accounts in a scheme to deposit, withdraw, and spend more than $30,000 obtained through the counterfeit payroll checks from June 29, 2007, to Jan. 2, 2008.


            According to the federal indictment, Shephard obtained financial information of institutional identity theft victims, including the Jackson County Jail, Crossroads Hospice and others. She allegedly used that information to produce counterfeit payroll checks. Between June 29 and Aug. 7, 2007, the indictment says, Shephard deposited five counterfeit payroll checks from those institutions totaling more than $6,600 into several bank accounts that were opened in the names of individual identity theft victims, from which she withdrew a total of $5,200.


            The indictment alleges that on Aug. 7, 2007, Shephard was in possession of 71 counterfeit checks drawn upon various financial institutions totaling $32,700, as well as four driver’s licenses and other items in the names of identity theft victims. On that date, according to the indictment, Shephard attempted to cash a $226 check in the name of an identity theft victim at the Hy-Vee grocery store at 4545 S. Noland Rd., Independence, Mo.


            On Jan. 2, 2008, Shephard allegedly attempted to cash a $966 counterfeit payroll check in the name of an identity theft victim at a bank in Overland Park, Kan. The forged payroll check was purportedly drawn upon the bank account of SDI (Sonic Drive-In) of Barry Road, Kansas City, Mo.


            Shephard is also charged with one count of identity theft, one count of aggravated identity theft (related to an act of identity theft committed in furtherance of another felony violation), one count of bank fraud and one count of possessing forged securities. The indictment also contains a forfeiture allegation, which would require Shephard to forfeit to the government any property derived from the proceeds of the alleged identity theft conspiracy.


            Wood cautioned that the charges contained in this indictment are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.


            This case is being prosecuted by U.S. Attorney John F. Wood. It was investigated by the Independence, Mo., Police Department, the Overland Park, Kan., Police Department, the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.


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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