MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A 34-year-old Maplewood woman was sentenced Friday in Minneapolis Federal Court for her role in an identity theft scheme that resulted in a loss of more than $300,000.
Nou Thao was sentenced to time already served and 180 days in a community corrections center on one count of bank fraud conspiracy.
She was indicted, along with 33-year-old Jason Hansen of Crystal and 40-year-old Elliott Clark of Cottage Grove, on Sept. 17, 2010. Thao pleaded guilty on Feb. 17.
Clark was sentenced Wednesday to four years in prison on two counts of bank fraud, one count of bank fraud conspiracy and one count of aggravated identity theft. He was convicted by a jury on Feb. 18. Hansen pleaded guilty on Feb. 10 and was sentenced to 30 months in prison on one count of bank fraud conspiracy, one count of bank fraud, one count of access device fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.
All three have also been ordered to pay more than $96,000 in restitution.
Evidence presented during Clark’s trial proved that from March 2008 to August 2008, he conspired with two others to steal money from various accounts by writing bad checks that included stolen routing numbers and account numbers. They also used names in information of people to commit bank fraud and access device fraud.
Clark was responsible for more than $150,000 in the fraud scheme.
In their plea agreements, Thao and Hansen admitted that they conspired with another man to commit bank fraud and access device fraud. That man, 39-year-old Marcus Kwamena Benson of Maplewood, was convicted and sentenced for stealing more than $483,000 from accounts at various banks.
Court documents said Hansen worked for a mortgage loan company and had access to personal information of clients who applied for mortgage loans. He admitted to giving that information to Benson, who used it to write bad checks and steal money. Thao admitted that she allowed her bank account to be used during the fraud as a depository from the accounts of the fraud victims.