Just a piece of general advice to identity thieves: If you’re going to steal toy-drive donor checks, photocopy them, and use the information for your own purposes, don’t sort out the checks from the cops and target them. If only someone had given Phelecia Williams the same good advice.
Internships are meant to create career opportunities for young people, and apparently Williams saw that opportunity while she was interning in the Oakland mayor’s office.
One of her responsibilities was helping with the mayor’s annual holiday toy drive.
Just like in every other organization, employees love to give to their boss’s favorite projects. At least 100 officers from the Oakland Police Department donated to the toy drive, which gave Williams access to the 100 personal checks she photocopied.
Williams used at least one officer’s personal and financial information fraudulently when she had utilities connected in her apartment.
The checks were discovered while police were searching her apartment looking for evidence relative to a previous employer’s charge. She alleged that Williams used a company credit card to make $10,000 in personal purchases including lingerie, a cell phone and tickets to sports events.
Even when you’re doing a good deed – like contributing to a charitable fundraiser for children – someone with less admirable intent may have access to your personal and financial information.
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