January 24, 2008
Bolivar, Mo. — A woman from Georgia who allegedly took part in a scheme which used the identity of a Bolivar woman to purchase more than $3,000 worth of computer equipment online plead guilty today to one criminal count of identity theft in Polk County Circuit Court. Diana E. Johnson (DOB — 8/15/68) of Savannah, Ga. will be sentenced on the plea by Judge Donald Cheever on March 28. Identity theft which results in the theft or appropriation of credit, money, goods, services or other property exceeding $500 and not exceeding $5,000 is a class C felony, punishable by up to seven years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
The felony charge against Johnson, filed in April 2006, was jointly prosecuted by Attorney General Jay Nixon and Polk County Prosecuting Attorney Paul Davolt. The investigation into the alleged identity theft operation also involved the Bolivar Police Department, Savannah-Chatham, Ga. Metropolitan Police Department, Miami Police Department and U.S. Postal Inspection Service
In November 2004, the alleged victim in Bolivar was contacted by a computer retailer advising her that someone had used her personal information to order more than $3,000 in merchandise from the company Web site. Three digital cameras worth $3,637 were purchased and charged to the victim’s account, which was opened using the victim’s name, social security number and date of birth without her consent.
Investigators from the Attorney General’s Office looking into the alleged identity theft learned that packages were being shipped to a residence in Savannah frequented by Johnson. Johnson allegedly would have the merchandise that was purchased online using other people’s identities shipped to this house where she would pick it up, and then re-ship the merchandise to another person in south Florida.