Woman charged with theft, identity theft

BY DI STAFF | DECEMBER 07, 2009 7:30 AM

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Police arrested a former accounting firm employee after she allegedly used a client’s account information to pay her own bills.

Tabatha Benningfield, 24, address unknown, was charged with first-degree theft and identity theft.

Using the client’s account information, Benningfield and a codefendant allegedly paid more than $10,000 worth of their own bills without authorization from the victim, police said.

They made payments by phone and through the Internet to numerous vendors, including Harley-Davidson, Financial Services, U.S. Cellular, and Alliant Energy, police said.

First-degree theft is a Class C felony, generally punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Identity theft is a Class D felony, generally punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $7,500.

— by Marleen Linares

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