A.G. Schneiderman Announces Prison Sentence For Queens Woman Convicted Of Stealing The Identities Of Three Nursing Home Residents
released on October 11, 2017
found in newsletter: October 2017
NEW YORK— Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the sentencing of Channel Francis, 40, of Rosedale, NY for fraudulently obtaining and using the credit cards of three elderly residents of Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care and Rehabilitation in Queens. After pleading guilty in July to three counts of Identity Theft in the First Degree, a class D felony, and two counts of Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, and for having made $11,738 of fraudulent purchases, today Francis was sentenced to serve 2 to 4 years in state prison.
“Identity theft of any kind is reprehensible—especially when done to exploit vulnerable New Yorkers like nursing home residents,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “My office will not tolerate identity theft and fraud, and will continue to bring crooks to justice.”
In September 2013, family members of three elderly residents of Parker Jewish reported suspicious activity, including unauthorized purchases on their loved ones’ credit cards. An investigation conducted by the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) later revealed that Francis received the residents’ sensitive personal identifying information from an unidentified friend who worked at the nursing home. Francis then added her own identifying information to the residents’ credit card accounts and used their credit to purchase luxury items such as iPads, computers, high definition televisions, and designer handbags, among other items.
MFCU investigators additionally tracked down video surveillance of Francis using the stolen credit cards at multiple retail stores and learned that the recorded transactions corresponded to transaction reports associated with each card. The investigation further uncovered that Francis had made internet purchases using the residents’ good credit and an e-mail address containing her name, then had the fraudulently obtained items shipped to her home address.
Today’s sentencing occurred before Queens County Supreme Court Justice Barry Kron. Francis was previously convicted of a felony in 2008 for Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree, a conviction she acknowledged today before sentencing.
The Attorney General encourages New Yorkers to check credit card and bank statements frequently and carefully for any unauthorized activity. Consult the Attorney General’s full tips to protect against identity theft and report instances of fraud to our office online or by calling 1-800-771-7755.
The Attorney General would like to thank the New York State Department of Health, the New York City Police Department, the Queens County District Attorney’s Office, Walgreens, and Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care and Rehabilitation for their assistance and cooperation in this investigation.
This case was investigated by Investigator Zahraa Majeed and Supervising Investigator Ronald Lynch with the assistance of Deputy Chief Investigator Kenneth Morgan. Senior Auditor Investigator Lisandra Defex conducted the financial analysis with the assistance of MFCU New York City Regional Chief Auditor Investigator Thomasina Smith. Confidential Legal Assistant Daniel Herzog also assisted in the investigation.
Special Assistant Attorneys General Jonathan S. Reiner and Felicia L. Berenson-Reinhardt prosecuted the case with the assistance of MFCU New York City Regional Director Christopher M. Shaw. Thomas O’Hanlon is the MFCU Chief of Criminal Investigations-Downstate. MFCU is led by Director Amy Held and Assistant Deputy Attorney General Paul Mahoney.
Original Press Release