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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Rhode Island

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 18, 2014

New York Woman Indicted In Federal Court In Rhode Island On Charges Of Aggravated Identity Theft, Fraud





PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Tanika Hawkins, 37, of Port Jervis, N.Y., is scheduled to be arraigned in U.S. District Court in Providence on December 23, 2014, on a federal indictment returned on Wednesday charging her with two counts of aggravated identity theft and two counts of wire fraud.

Hawkins was arrested by Cranston Police on August 2, 2014, after she allegedly used stolen identifying information of a person from Ohio in an effort to secure a line of credit at a Cranston jewelry store for the purchase of a Rolex watch valued at approximately $9,000.

It is also alleged, based on information developed by the Cranston Police Department and the U.S. Secret Service, that Hawkins used the same stolen identifying information to secure a line of credit at a Providence jewelry store for the purchase of a Rolex watch.

The indictment of Tanika Hawkins is announced by United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha, Cranston Police Chief Colonel Michael J. Winquist and Ted A. Arruda, Resident Agent in Charge of the Providence Office of the U.S. Secret Service.

An indictment is merely an allegation and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Ms. Hawkins was released on unsecured bond following an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in this matter on August 4, 2014. Ms. Hawkins is scheduled to appear for arraignment before U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Patricia A. Sullivan on December 23, 2014.

Wire fraud is punishable by statutory penalties of up to 20 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Aggravated identity theft is punishable by a statutory penalty of a mandatory sentence of two years in federal prison, to be served consecutive to all other penalties imposed.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Milind M. Shah.

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Updated June 22, 2015