Metro-East News

Belleville retirement home employee stole residents’ IDs to set up utilities, charges allege

An employee at St. Paul’s Senior Community was charged with stealing the identities of residents to pay for his utility bills.
An employee at St. Paul’s Senior Community was charged with stealing the identities of residents to pay for his utility bills. News-Democrat

A Belleville retirement community employee stole the identities of at least seven residents and used their personal information to set up his utility bills, according to federal charges.

Christopher Rhodes, who worked at St. Paul’s Senior Community in Belleville, took names, Social Security numbers and personal information from residents at the retirement community and used it to set up electric, gas, water and satellite television service at his own residence, according to an indictment handed down Wednesday.

Rhodes did this from at least 2012 through July 2017, according to the indictment.

It isn't always easy to tell if your personal information has been stolen for fraudulent purposes or your accounts have been compromised. Here are some common signs that you might be a victim of identity theft.

In late December, police found names, birthdays and Social Security numbers of some of St. Paul’s residents in Rhodes’ home, as well as utility bills in the names of those residents, according to the indictment.

Rhodes was formally charged Wednesday with three counts of wire fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft. He is set to be arraigned in February.

Rhodes was convicted of using patient information to set up credit cards at Greenwood Terrace Nursing Home in Swansea in 2005. He was sentenced to 37 months in prison and three years supervised release.

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