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ATTORNEY GENERAL THURBERT BAKER ANNOUNCES RETURN OF FINANCIAL IDENTITY FRAUD INDICTMENT IN FRANKLIN COUNTY

PRESS ADVISORY

ATTORNEY GENERAL THURBERT BAKER ANNOUNCES RETURN OF FINANCIAL IDENTITY FRAUD INDICTMENT IN FRANKLIN COUNTY

March 14, 2000

Attorney General Thurbert Baker announced that the Franklin County grand jury yesterday returned an indictment against Sherri Samantha Bius of Franklin County for 3 counts of financial identity fraud, 18 counts of forgery in the second degree and 14 counts of theft by receiving stolen property.

“Financial identity fraud is a growing problem across Georgia and the nation, and it is imperative that law enforcement crack down on it,” Baker said. “I will use the financial identity fraud statute to take on those who commit this devastating crime.”

Bius is accused of regularly stealing mail from mail boxes, post offices and drop boxes during 1999. She would allegedly use the stolen mail to obtain information necessary to access existing bank accounts and credit card accounts, to create new bank accounts and credit card accounts in other persons’ names, and to cash stolen checks. The information Bius allegedly obtained with an intent to commit fraud include driver’s license numbers, social security numbers, credit card numbers and checking account numbers. She is also accused of possessing stolen checks.

If convicted on all counts, Bius faces up to 260 years in prison. Assistant Attorney General David McLaughlin is prosecuting the case.

Under the financial identity fraud statute, passed by the Georgia General Assembly in 1998 at the request of the Attorney General, the unauthorized acquisition of information that would allow a person to unlawfully access the financial resources of another person. Both the Attorney General and District Attorneys across the state have the jurisdiction to prosecute financial identity fraud cases.

Persons who believe that they have been victims of financial identity fraud should contact the Office of Attorney General Thurbert Baker at (404) 656-3300.