CHICAGO (CBS) — Investigators have unraveled an elaborate identity theft ring that has cost dozens of people thousands of dollars.
CBS 2’s Suzanne LeMignot talked to three victims who say they lost anywhere from $1,900 to $7,800. And police believe more victims are out there.
The women agreed to speak with CBS 2, if their identities were concealed. All three are among 26 women who had their identities stolen. Their personal information was used to withdraw thousands of dollars from their Chase bank accounts.
“It turns your life upside down,” one of the victims said. “It really does.”
The women had two things in common, said Detective Patti Dalton, of the Chicago Police Department’s Financial Crimes Unit.
“The pattern that I saw was that they all lived in the same geographical area,” Dalton said.
They also were patients at Woman to Woman Healthcare. The practice’s receptionist, Carmencita Kennedy, has been charged being the organizer of a continuing financial crimes enterprise.
“She’s in a position of trust,” said Detective Christine Jalloway. “You feel comfortable and here she is. She’s taking your information. I think that’s pretty bold.”
Police say Kennedy, a 32-year-old mother of seven, has two prior fraud convictions. Detectives soon figured out Kennedy had help from Susan Byrd.
Police say Byrd, who also has a previous fraud conviction, was caught numerous times on Chase surveillance video, withdrawing thousands of dollars by using a fake ID with her picture but with a patient’s personal information on it.
“If it had gone on for any period of time, who knows how many more victims we would have had,” said Sgt Philip Cappitelli.
Police believe there may be more victims out there.
Police say $125,000 was stolen. Chase reimbursed each victim and worked with police to stop the fraud.
The owner of Woman to Woman Healthcare, Dr. Monica Moore, issued a statement through her attorney:
”Our office was recently made aware that the Chicago Police Department Financial Crimes Division is investigating a matter involving one of our employees. We are deeply grateful to them for their diligent work in bringing this situation to our attention. We will continue to cooperate fully with all investigative authorities to ensure that this matter is thoroughly investigated. We take information protection very seriously and will continue to work to ensure that all appropriate measures are taken to protect our patients.
Please direct any media questions or comments to Justin Terry of Terry & Moore, P.C. at firstname.lastname@example.org.”