West Haven Woman Pleads Guilty to Fraud and Identity Theft Charges
Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that JAMILA WILLIAMS-STEVENSON, 36, of West Haven, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Victor A. Bolden in Bridgeport to one count of bank fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.
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, WILLIAMS-STEVENSON 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 by WILLIAMS-STEVENSON and Coburn. WILLIAMS-STEVENSON and Coburn 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.
More than 20 individuals have been victimized through this scheme, resulting in an attempted loss of more than $150,000 to banks and victims.
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 WILLIAMS-STEVENSON and Coburn discussing how they might be able to cause the death of this victim in order to collect on the life insurance policy.
WILLIAMS-STEVENSON was arrested on July 21, 2016. She is detained pending sentencing.
Coburn, 42, of West Haven, was arrested on July 27, 2016. She pleaded guilty to the same charges on November 30, 2016, and is released on a $100,000 bond.
The charge of bank fraud carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 30 years, and the charge of aggravated identity theft carries a mandatory consecutive term of imprisonment of two years. Sentencing dates have not been scheduled.
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
U.S. Attorney Daly stated that the investigation is ongoing, and encouraged citizens who believe that they have been victimized by this scheme, or who have had a mailing address changed without their consent, to call the U.S. Postal Inspection Service at 203-782-7391.