Woman Living as Minnesota Resident Jailed on Dozens of Fraud and Forgery Charges
BROOKSVILLE – A Spring Hill Woman is behind bars this evening, after she cashed dozens of fraudulent checks under the assumed identity of a Minnesota resident. According to officials, On August 14th 2015, Donna Lipidarov, the Branch Manager at a local Capital City Bank, notified Hernando County Sheriff’s detectives that a customer, Julie Ryan, had deposited several checks into her own account. The checks did not clear and had been written on a closed Region’s Bank account, also in Ryan’s name.
Records at Capital City Bank revealed that Ryan lived in an apartment complex in Spring Hill and conducted business inside the bank on a regular basis.
During the investigation, Ryan was identified as a current resident of Minnesota, not Spring Hill. Hernando County detectives requested Minnesota law enforcement officers to respond to Ryan’s current address, where it was discovered that she had not been to Florida in many years and had never been to Hernando County. Ryan also advised that she never had a Capital City Bank or Regions Bank account.
Early in the investigation, contact was made with the management at Hibiscus Springs Apartment Complex, which is the address where Ryan was believed to be residing. Detectives learned that a person by the name of Julie Ryan had rented an apartment at the complex but had recently been evicted. The apartment was rented using personal identification information from Julie Ryan. During the eviction process, the name Angela Brown was discovered.
With help from Minnesota authorities, Hernando County detectives obtained possible identification information on 36-year-old Angela Brown.
Hernando County Detectives contacted Ryan, who said in 2014 she attempted to rent a house from Brown but the deal fell through. During that process, Brown requested copies of Ryan’s Driver’s License and Social Security Card, which were provided to her.
Records obtained from Capital City Bank and Regions Bank confirmed that accounts at both banks were opened using Ryan’s identity. An additional SunTrust account was also identified. Detectives learned that Brown opened a Post Office Box and a utilities account using Ryan’s personal identification information. The bank accounts were used by the suspect on a daily basis for miscellaneous purchases and to utter fraudulent checks between banks, according to officials.
Video evidence was obtained from several banks depicting Brown opening the accounts and conducting numerous fraudulent transactions. Numerous witnesses positively identified Angela Brown as the individual portraying herself as Julie Ryan and subsequently conducting business within Hernando County.
Officials say, at the conclusion of the investigation it was determined that Angela Brown was residing in Hernando County, living an alternate life under the stolen identity of Julie Ryan for approximately eight months. Probable cause was established for Brown’s arrest and a warrant was obtained on October 10th 2015. At some point during the investigation, Brown fled back to Minnesota, where she was subsequently located and arrested. Yesterday, Brown was extradited back to Hernando County and booked into County Jail on 5-counts of Criminal Use of Personal Information, 16-counts of Forgery, and one count of organized Fraud. Brown remains behind bars – held on an $84,000 bond.
The investigation continues, as additional accounts opened by Brown in Julie Ryan’s name are still being identified.
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