I.D. Theft Indictments
Six women and one man were indicted Wednesday on charges they used stolen information to communicate with inmates in state correctional facilities. Investigators at the Attorney Generals office said Clayton Deardorff, an inmate, concocted the scheme with his wife Robin.
Robin Deardorff worked at a Jefferson City nursing home operated by New Horizons Community Support Services. Officials said this job gave Deardorff access to identity information of the nursing home residents.The Attorney General alleges the couple recruited five others. All seven face conspiracy to defraud charges. The Deardorffs also face charges of identity theft.
The attorney general alleges the group used the identities of the mentally disabled and residents of group homes to create phone accounts so prison inmates could communicate, without having to pay expensive rates. According to the indictment, the inmates spent more than $80,000 in phone charges. The scheme took place from January 2002 to December 2006.
"As we continued the investigation it expanded from looking at just possibly stolen identities from mentally disabled people and people who lived in group homes to identities being stolen from ordinary Missourians," Scott Holste, attorney general spokesperson, said.
It's believed the suspects came up with this scheme so their friends behind bars wouldn't have to pay for their outgoing calls.