BENTON – On Tuesday, November 22, 2022, Ashley McKinney, 39, of Belleville, Illinois, was sentenced to 54 months in federal prison for Identity Theft, Conspiracy to Commit Bank and Wire Fraud, and Money Laundering.

According to court documents, for almost a year, Ashley McKinney defrauded elderly women in southern Illinois with the help of her co-conspirator, Erica Rose. They were true partners in crime. Rose abused her employment as an in-home caretaker and stole the identities of her elderly clients.

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Then she passed the stolen information along to McKinney to attempt to drain their bank accounts through counterfeit checks and fraudulent purchases. As an example, McKinney tried to buy a used Tesla online after stealing the identity and savings of an 86-year-old woman from Belleville, Illinois.

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When the deal fell through because the Tesla had mechanical problems, McKinney bought herself a Mercedes Benz instead. After she took possession of the vehicle, the victim’s bank stopped payment on the counterfeit check and the online car dealer repossessed the luxury vehicle.

The pair were caught after numerous families reported identity theft to police shortly after Rose was caring for their loved one. In each case, McKinney was found committing fraud with the identity. Rose was previously sentenced to prison in May 2021.

“While identity theft is always a serious crime, it’s particularly troubling when victims are elderly,” said United States Attorney Rachelle Crowe. “The crimes, in this case, went beyond financial loss. They impacted whole families during already difficult times. We will always prioritize holding defendants accountable who prey on vulnerable victims.”

The investigation was conducted by detectives from the Edwardsville Police Department, Belleville Police Department, Swansea Police Department, and St. Clair County Sheriff’s Office. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Luke J. Weissler.

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Oct 4, 2022 | U.S. Attorney Announces Efforts To Combat Fraud Against Seniors In Southern Illinois

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