January 8, 2008
Springfield, Mo. — Two Springfield residents pleaded guilty Monday (Jan. 7) to criminal charges that they used the stolen identity of an acquaintance to make numerous withdrawals totaling more than $3,000 from the victim’s bank account, including ATM withdrawals and charges to online poker sites. Jason N. Waln (DOB — 6/21/74) and Norma J. Black (DOB — 8/27/72) each made guilty pleas to one count of felony identity theft before Judge Thomas E. Mountjoy in Greene County Circuit Court and will be sentenced March 28.
Charges of identity theft were filed by Greene County Prosecuting Attorney Darrell Moore against the defendants in June 2006 after an investigation by Moore’s office, the office of Attorney General Jay Nixon, and the Springfield Police Department. Nixon’s office was appointed to assist in the case.
“We will always be ready to work with local prosecutors to share our expertise in identity theft cases,” Nixon said. “We also want to reinforce how important it is for Missouri consumers to safeguard their sensitive personal information, whether it be online or in their purses or wallets.”
The victim reported to Nixon’s office that someone had accessed her bank account to make ATM withdrawals, purchase items at a Springfield discount store and for use on several online gambling sites. The victim discovered her debit card missing from her purse after she spent the night at the home of the defendants. The multi-faceted investigation linked the defendants to the use of the debit card.
Felony identity theft is a class C felony under Missouri law, and is punishable upon conviction by a maximum of seven years in prison and a $5,000 fine.