A 28-year-old Belleville woman was convicted Wednesday of aggravated identity theft and conspiracy to commit mail fraud following a jury trial in federal court in East St. Louis, according to U.S. Attorney Stephen R. Wigginton.
Evidence presented during the two-day jury trial showed Susan L. Harris, who was at one time a medical assistant at a Southern Illinois hospital, conspired with co-defendant Ashley Drummond to steal personal identifying information of patients from the hospital in order to attempt to open credit cards in the patients' names.
According to prosecutors, Drummond transported patients at the hospital and would steal their personal information from their charts. The pair targeted elderly patients. Drummond, who pleaded guilty to her role in the offense on Nov. 19, testified that, after stealing the information, she would call Harris to discuss which accounts to apply for with the information.
Harris was later caught on camera by a retail store using one of the credit cards obtained with the victim information. The evidence showed that the credit card she was caught using was mailed to Harris' home and activated with her cellphone. It was obtained with personal information belonging to a 90-year-old woman who lived in an assisted living center.
Sentencing for Harris is set for March 25. On the charge of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, Harris faces up to 20 years in prison. Aggravated identity theft is punishable by a mandatory two years in prison.