Federal investigators say two women orchestrated an identity theft ring that targeted at least 20 people. But it's how suspects Jamila Williams-Stevenson and Loretta Coburn are said to have gotten some of their victim’s personal information that is most shocking.
Authorities said several of the alleged victims had been patients at Yale-New Haven Hospital where Williams-Stevenson was working as a companion or sitter.
It's believed she used her job at the hospital to steal patients’ information and identities.
“It was people that was expected to die,” said Donna Walker, one of their alleged victims. “I really believe that.”
Walker said she had suffered from a brain injury and didn't expect to survive.
She thinks Williams-Stevenson didn't expect her to make it either, which made her a target. According to Walker, once Williams-Stevenson and Coburn got her information, they quickly made use of it.
“They had my social security number,” said Walker. “I got a notice from the post office that said that my address had been changed.”
According to the court affidavit, once the two changed their alleged victims addresses, they took control of their mail, then took control of their finances.
“I find out that they have been applying for credit cards,” said Walker.
Willy Amply is also one of their alleged victims. He said his daughter was a patient at Yale New Haven Hospital and like Walker, she was in bad shape.
“She was in the mental part of the hospital,” Amply explained.
Amply said someone claiming to be from Yale New Haven Hospital called needing information.
“They had called me and wanted me to be her beneficiary for some reason if something happened to her, so that's how they got it,” said Amply.
He had handed over all of his personal information and more of his daughter’s.
“They had made an insurance policy out on my daughter while she was in the hospital,” Amply continued.
Federal investigators learned Williams-Stevenson had made herself the beneficiary on a $50,000 life insurance policy on Amply’ s daughter.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s office, the suspects carried out an identity theft and mail fraud scheme for two years until being arrested in July.
Williams-Stevenson faces charges of Bank Fraud and Aggravated Identity Theft, while Coburn was charged with Conspiracy to Commit Bank Fraud.
The NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters stopped by Williams-Stevenson’s home and asked her if she wanted to talk about some of the things she is accused of doing with identity theft. She simply answered, “No”.
We also stopped by Coburn’s house, but nobody answered the door.
Through court paperwork, the Troubleshooters know at least 4 of the victims were patients at Yale New Haven Hospital. One of them, is an 84-year- old woman who passed away.
Federal investigators won't say if any of the other identity theft victims were patients too.
However, we asked Yale New Haven Hospital, a spokesperson said "They don't know but are investigating."
The hospital also provided a statement saying in part:
"The actions alleged to have been taken by Ms. Williams-Stevenson's are reprehensible." The hospital said it is "Taking steps to ensure that this sort of activity does not occur again."
“You know if you are on deaths door, that is where you want to be, at Yale New Haven Hospital,” said Walker.
Although Walker thinks Yale-New Haven Hospital delivers stellar medical care, she wants them to do more to protect patient’s information from employees.
Officials with the hospital said they are cooperating fully with the U.S. Attorney's office and that Jamila Williams-Stevenson is no longer employed there.