A federal grand jury returned indictments for a former debt collection agency employee and her accomplice in a scheme that saw her steal personal information on debtors to defraud the U.S. government, according to the Justice Department.
The indictments, unsealed Monday, accused Deatrice Smith Williams of stealing the names and Social Security numbers of several consumers which she accessed through her job at an unnamed debt collection agency. She then passed that information on to her son-in-law, Quentin Collick. Collick used those names to file false tax returns from the Middle District of Alabama. Collick in turn cashed several fraudulent federal refund checks.
On Aug. 9, 2012, Quentin Collick was indicted for his role in the conspiracy. In November 2012, pursuant to a criminal complaint, Williams was arrested for her role in the conspiracy. The 13 count superseding indictment unsealed Monday charges Williams and Collick with conspiracy to file false claims, theft of public funds, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.
If convicted, Collick and Williams each face maximum potential sentences of 10 years in prison for the conspiracy count, up to 20 years in prison for each wire fraud count, and a mandatory 2-year sentence for the aggravated identity theft counts. Collick also faces up to 10 years in prison for each theft of public funds count. They are also subject to fines and mandatory restitution if convicted.