West Haven Woman Sentenced to Prison for Role in Fraud and Identity Theft Scheme
Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that LORENA COBURN, 43, of West Haven, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Victor A. Bolden in Bridgeport to 16 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for her role in a fraud and identity theft scheme.
According to court documents and statements made in court, between approximately 2012 and July 2016, Jamila Williams-Stevenson and COBURN worked together to steal personal identifying information from victims and commit fraud using the stolen information. The sources of the personal identifying information included patients at Yale New Haven Hospital, where Williams-Stevenson worked as a care companion.
As part of the scheme, Williams-Stevenson and COBURN submitted to the U.S. Postal Service change of address applications for their victims so that the victims’ mail, including checks that were intended for the victims, would be diverted from the victims’ true addresses to addresses that were controlled by Williams-Stevenson and COBURN. Williams-Stevenson and COBURN also stole checks from residential and business mailboxes and then counterfeited the checks so that they were payable to their identity theft victims. They then opened bank accounts in the names of identity theft victims, deposited the stolen and counterfeit checks into those accounts, and then withdrew the funds from those accounts.
Williams-Stevenson and COBURN also obtained a life insurance policy in the amount of $75,000 in the name of an identity theft victim, and Williams-Stevenson was named as the beneficiary on the policy. Forensic analysis of Williams-Stevenson’s iPhone, which was seized at the time of her arrest, revealed a series of text messages between Williams-Stevenson and COBURN discussing how they might be able to cause the death of this victim in order to collect on the life insurance policy.
More than 30 individuals were victimized through this scheme, resulting in an attempted loss of more than $150,000 to banks and victims.
Williams-Stevenson was arrested on July 21, 2016. On that date, agents executed searches at her house and storage unit and found more than 200 unique credit and debit cards in the names of various identity theft victims.
COBURN was arrested on July 27, 2016. On November 30, 2016, she pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.
Judge Bolden ordered COBURN to pay restitution of $53,365.37 to various financial institutions and a university that suffered financial losses.
On December 12, 2016, Williams-Stevenson pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft. On August 8, 2017, she was sentenced to 48 months of imprisonment, three years of supervised release, and $53,365.37 in restitution.
This matter was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division, the Connecticut Financial Crimes Task Force and the West Haven, New Haven and Orange Police Departments. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarala V.