Rockville Centre woman sentenced for role in ID theft scam

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A Rockville Centre woman was sentenced Wednesday to serve 1 1/2 to 3 years in state prison for her role in a scheme that stole hundreds of people's identities to file fraudulent tax returns that yielded refunds and to apply for credit cards under the victims' names, authorities said.

Susan Pemberton, who is also known as Susan Williams, helped file more than 250 false New York State personal income tax returns in 30 states with the bogus identities that prosecutors said she gathered through fake Craigslist ads for jobs and apartments, officials said.

The ads required victims to supply personal information, including Social Security numbers.

Prosecutors said Pemberton used the stolen identities and fake W-2s to apply for more than $500,000 in fraudulent refunds.

"This sentencing should act as a reminder to all New Yorkers -- protect your personal information vigorously," said Thomas H. Mattox, New York State commissioner of Taxation and Finance.

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Pemberton, who had pleaded guilty to third-degree grand larceny, first-degree scheme to defraud, first-degree offering a false instrument for filing and second-degree identity theft, is one of three people who prosecutors said participated in the scam.

Prosecutors said Pemberton is in federal prison serving a 57-month sentence on one count of making a false claim against the United States, in the form of a tax return, and will serve this sentence concurrently.

Officials said Pemberton, 43; Keith Campbell, 53, of Brooklyn; and Cynthia Sibert, 24, of Roslyn, asked people who responded to the Craigslist ads for employment and apartment rentals for their name, address, birth date and Social Security number. The personal information was used to acquire credit cards and file tax returns.

Their attorneys could not be reached for comment or declined to comment.

All three cases were investigated by the Tax Department's Criminal Investigations Division and prosecuted by Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice's office.

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