Woman pleads guilty to leading identity theft ring

Saturday, August 28th 2004, 9:29 am
By: News On 6

ALBANY, Ga. (AP) _ A woman accused of leading of a scam that stole the identities of dead people in five states, including Oklahoma, has pleaded guilty to wire fraud and identity theft charges.

Investigators say Kwezeta Butler looked at obituaries and used the Internet to obtain Social Security numbers, birthdates and credit histories.

They say Butler sold fake I-Ds with the names of the deceased for 500- to 600-dollars to people with bad credit, who would use them to buy cars. Identities of dead people were stolen in Oklahoma, Georgia, California, Virginia and Ohio.

In January, about 80 people were arrested in the scheme, which took place from 2001 to 2002. Most of the cases are pending.

Butler entered her guilty plea in U-S District Court in Georgia on Wednesday. She could face 15 years in prison for identity theft and 20 years for wire fraud.