05/22/08 — Woman snaps up identity to get job at plant

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Woman snaps up identity to get job at plant

By Nick Hiltunen
Published in News on May 22, 2008 2:22 PM

Wayne County authorities say a Dudley woman got a job at a nearby chicken processing plant using a Hope Mills woman's identity.

Alleged victim Maria Tucker of Hope Mills told a detective her first inkling of fraud came in the form of a letter from the Internal Revenue Service.

Specifically, a detective with the Wayne County Sheriff's Office reported that the IRS sent a letter seeking back taxes on unreported income to Ms. Tucker.

An investigation revealed that the income was due to the employment of Brenda Lizet Carraro-Carales, 29, Sun-dance Trail, who allegedly used Ms. Tucker's name for a job at Case Farms on Pecan Road in Dudley, according to a news release.

After the IRS letter, Ms. Tucker also reported to detectives that the Cumberland County Department of Social Services had also phoned her to report they were cutting off her benefits.

The Cumberland agency said its reasoning for the action was due to unreported employment and income, presumably income earned by Ms. Tucker, authorities said.

Detective Lt. R. Thomas Flores said when he went to Case Farms to check on Ms. Carraro-Carales, she was actually clocked in under the name Maria Tucker.

Case Farms human resources manager Stephen Johnson said the company makes diligent efforts to appropriately identify employees when hired.

"We ... check IDs against the Social Security Administra-tion," Johnson said. "In order for them to have that information correct, they would have to know something about the person. I couldn't just steal your Social Security card and qualify to get a job here, because we're going to check."

Johnson said a detective came to the site and Ms. Carraro-Carales readily admitted to using someone else's name.

"They came in and questioned her, and she said yup, basically said (Ms. Tucker's name), that was not her name. So he took her off at that point."

A Case Farms representative said Ms. Carraro-Carales is no longer an employee of the company.

According to a news release, Ms. Carraro-Carales was jailed under a $1,000 bond, and charged with financial identity theft.

Identity theft that doesn't cause the arrest, detention or conviction of the victim is a Class G felony, punishable by about a year in prison for most offenders and fines.

Identity theft that does cause a victim's arrest can be classified a Class F felony, punishable by a maximum four years in prison and fines under current sentencing laws.

In another unrelated arrest dealing with fraud and forgery, a Greene County man was arrested by Wayne authorities for using checks belonging to his ex-girlfriend.

Donnie Ray Aldridge, 39, Dyke Smith Road, LaGrange, faces six felony-level fraud counts for passing three of the checks at two Wayne County businesses, Detective David K. Rose reported.

Aldridge was jailed under $10,000 unsecured bond for the alleged offenses, Rose reported.