ABINGDON, Va. – A Kentucky woman was sentenced to 39 months in federal prison on Thursday after stealing checks and identification documents from cars to commit bank fraud and identify theft, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Anica Maire Santiago, 34, pleaded guilty in May 2021 to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.
Co-defendants Cregg Mitchell-Feazell and Patricia Butcher have both pleaded guilty and will be sentenced next month.
According to court documents, on May 24, 2020, at the Iron Furnace Trailhead in Lee County, the group broke into several vehicles and stole personal items, including identification documents, Social Security cards and personal checks.
Four days later, they took one of the stolen checks to a drive-thru lane at a Commercial Bank in Newport, Tennessee. The check was fraudulently made out to one of the victims of the previously thefts. Butcher produced the fraudulent check and a stolen state-issued photo ID to the bank teller, who cashed the check for $935, the release said.
The group used the stolen checks and IDs several other times to cash fraudulent checks. These events were also part of a larger organized scheme involving other break-ins at other locations, other thefts of checkbooks and identification documents, and the cashing of other fraudulent checks, the release continued.