Woman pleads guilty to identity theft

Friend’s name, Social Security number used in bankruptcy to recover car

TEXARKANA — A Malvern woman who tricked a lawyer into filing bankruptcy under another woman’s name and Social Security number so she could keep her car pleaded guilty in federal court Friday.

Calandra Lock appeared before U.S. District Judge Susan Hickey for her first court appearance late Friday morning in Texarkana’s downtown federal building. Lock pleaded guilty to a felony information charging her with misuse of a Social Security number. Her attorney was Anna Williams of the federal public defender’s office.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Claude Hawkins reviewed a factual basis for Lock’s plea during the hearing. Hawkins said Lock agreed to take over the car payments due on a friend’s vehicle so she could have the car. But Lock didn’t make the monthly payments, and the vehicle was repossessed by the note holder in Hot Springs.

In May, Lock pretended to be her friend, Jacinda Clegg, during a meeting with Pine Bluff lawyer David Morehead. As Clegg, Lock hired Morehead to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy using Clegg’s Social Security number. A Chapter 13 filing could result in a return of a repossessed car to the owner.

Hickey told Lock she could be ordered to pay restitution at sentencing. Lock appeared in court Friday on a summons, and Hawkins said the government is not in opposition to Lock’s release on a $5,000 unsecured appearance bond.

Hickey said she would normally order a defendant to have no contact with the victim in a criminal case, but she would forgo that order for Lock because she and Clegg are friends.

While court documents do not reflect Clegg’s credit rating, Lock’s failure to make Clegg’s car payments as agreed and the fraudulent bankruptcy filing under Clegg’s Social Security number could hurt Clegg’s credit rating as a form of identity theft.

Hickey told Lock that her case will be scheduled for sentencing once the court has received a report which will include a recommendation for punishment under federal guidelines. Lock faces up to five years in federal prison, a fine of up to $250,000, or both.

Source:http://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2016/jul/25/woman-pleads-guilty-to-identity-theft-2/

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