An Akron woman was sentenced to 54 months in prison after she pleaded guilty to stealing from and aggravated identity theft of an older individual. Gina Palmer, 40, of Akron, Ohio, was sentenced on January 11, 2022, by U.S. District Judge James S. Gwin. Palmer previously pleaded guilty to three counts of mail fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft in September of 2021.
According to court documents, Palmer, a tenant of the victim for about ten years, forged the victim’s signature on a fictitious power of attorney (POA) form and used it to open bank accounts and conduct financial transactions without permission. Palmer then had the victim’s mail forwarded to her address and stole the victim’s debit card. Palmer subsequently deposited the victim’s retirement checks obtained through the mail and made online purchases using the stolen debit card.
Investigators with the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) investigated the incident after being contacted by a family member of the victim. Investigators obtained a video of Palmer presenting a fraudulent POA and attempting to cash the victim’s check. Palmer was later arrested, and her residence searched. During the search, investigators discovered the victim’s forwarded mail and the notary stamp for the fraudulent POA.
This case was investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian McDonough.