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An Oakland woman with several previous fraud convictions pleaded guilty in federal court today to six charges related to the theft of identity information from records at doctors’ offices and other places where she worked. Cherryl Worley, 38, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Lowell Jensen in Oakland to one count of committing bank fraud by using a falsely obtained credit card in 2007 and five counts of fraudulent use of credit devices with stolen identities in 2008. Worley will be sentenced by Jensen on June 22.
The bank fraud conviction carries a possible maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and the fraudulent credit-use counts are each punishable by up to 10 years, but the judge will consider federal sentencing guidelines before imposing a penalty. U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag said Worley admitted during the plea to stealing the names, birth dates, Social Security numbers and addresses of patients, doctors and other individuals from various offices that employed her, including doctors’ offices.
Haag said that in the identity thefts, Worley primarily targeted victims who were named “Cheryl” or had a similar name. Worley was indicted in July 2010 on a total of 114 charges, including 19 counts of bank fraud, 48 counts of fraudulent use of credit devices and 47 counts of aggravated identity theft. In exchange for the guilty plea to six counts, prosecutors will dismiss the remaining 108 counts.
Worley also agreed in the plea bargain to pay $141,970 in restitution and to forfeit 90 items seized by investigators, including two computers on which she made fraudulent purchases and 83 pairs of shoes, sandals and boots. Defense attorney Joseph O’Sullivan was not available for comment today.According to federal court records, Worley previously pleaded guilty in three separate criminal fraud cases in Jensen’s court in 2004 and was sentenced by the judge to two years and six months in prison.
In one of the cases, she defrauded two department stores, including Macy’s, by using stolen credit card account numbers. In another, she fraudulently used a bank debit card to steal $1,770 from an East Bay doctor for whom she worked in 2003, according to papers filed by prosecutors.
After being released from prison, Worley obtained several more jobs, including two with East Bay medical clinics and one with another doctor, but did not reveal her felony convictions on her job applications, according to papers filed by prosecutors. Worley was also convicted of welfare fraud and theft by use of access data in two Contra Costa County Superior Court cases in 1997 and sentenced to three months in jail for the two convictions, according to court records.
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