A Chicago woman will spend the next five years in federal prison after authorities convicted her of using the identities of dead people to commit fraud against the federal government. According to the authorities, the woman used the identities to apply for benefits, some of which were disbursed during the coronavirus as pandemic aid packages.
The woman acquired the identities of murder victims to pull off the scam. Authorities say it netted over $45,000 in profit. The information was used to file tax returns and pandemic-related entitlements. The woman would pose as relatives of the murder victims to collect payments on their behalf.
Prosecutors characterized the theft as “morally repugnant.” The woman had prior convictions for various forms of fraud. The court, in passing sentence, characterized her as a career criminal who had multiple opportunities to turn away from a life of crime but chose fraud anyway.