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Document and Benefit Fraud
07/27/2011

Former home healthcare aide guilty of defrauding an elderly couple

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. - A former live-in home healthcare aide was convicted on Wednesday of various identity theft-related crimes. The guilty verdict was a result of a joint investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE's) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) and the U.S. Secret Service.

Isabel Wilson, 59, also known as Isabel Freeman, was convicted after a one-week trial before U.S. District Judge Vincent L. Briccetti in federal court.

Wilson was hired as a live-in home healthcare aide to care for an elderly couple suffering from dementia. According to the criminal complaint and superseding indictment, Wilson used the couple's names, social security numbers, and dates of birth to open seven credit cards in their names. Wilson then used those credit cards to buy more than $73,000 in luxury goods for both her husband and herself, including plane tickets, furniture, clothing, and a down payment on a Porsche.

Wilson hid the scheme by having some of the credit card statements sent to a post office box that she had obtained near the couple's Scarsdale, N.Y., home. When applying for the box, Wilson presented the postal clerk with a U.S. passport as identification.

Wilson, who is a citizen of Liberia and is not a U.S. citizen, obtained that passport by using the identity of a third victim - a woman from Rhode Island. Before getting the passport, Wilson went to the Queens County Court and changed the Rhode Island woman's name to her own, thereby ensuring that the fraudulently obtained passport would have her own name on it.

Wilson lied repeatedly to federal authorities. She was convicted of one count of access device fraud, one count of aggravated identity theft, one count of use of a passport obtained by fraud, one count of use of a social security number assigned on the basis of false information, three counts of false statements to a federal officer, and one count of false claim to U.S. citizenship.

When she is sentenced on October 31, 2011, Wilson will face a maximum sentence of 50 years in prison, a mandatory minimum sentence of two years in prison, and a maximum fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense.