Woman Sentenced for Aggravated Identity Theft and Mail Fraud
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of North Carolina
RALEIGH, N.C. – A Winston-Salem woman was sentenced today to 28 months incarceration, two years supervised release and a $7,005.00 in restitution for impersonating the identity of two victims. On August 24, 2021, Melanie Alecia Ruona pled guilty to two counts of a six-count indictment charging her with Aggravated Identity Theft and Mail Fraud.
According to court documents and other information presented in court, Melanie Alecia Ruona, 34, and others perpetrated a scheme to illegally access the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles’ computers and steal the identities of the individuals she accessed. By doing this Rouna was responsible for stealing the identity of two victims. Rouna used the identity of one of the victims to open a credit account at a local department store in Greensboro and purchased $4,071.50 in goods. Rouna also applied for unemployment benefits in the identity of the victim for a loss of $2,934 to North Carolina Division of Employment Security.
In October of 2020, the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles, License and Theft Bureau in conjunction with the U.S. Secret Service and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, identified a criminal scheme involving multiple individuals who had assumed the identities of hundreds of victims and then perpetrated various crimes using the victims’ identity.
Rouna is the fourth defendant to be prosecuted in the Eastern District based on similar schemes to illegally access the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles computers, that were identified previously.
Michael F. Easley, Jr. U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Terrence W. Boyle. The Task Force comprised of the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles, License and Theft Bureau, U.S. Secret Service, and U.S. Postal Inspection Service investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Gabriel Diaz prosecuted the case.
Related court documents and information can be found on the website of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina or on PACER by searching for Case No. 5:21-CR-202-1BO, 5:21-CR-339-1D, 5:21-CR-284-FL, and 5:21-CR-338-1FL.
Updated December 8, 2021