Woman wanted on charges stemming from identity theft scheme

A two-week investigation led to four felony forgery charges against a Kansas City, Mo. woman, accused of possessing fraudulent checks and documents using identities of at least four victims and another woman possibly involved in the crimes.

On Friday, Jan. 30, Platte County prosecutor Eric Zahnd charged 26-year-old Tiffany Bennett in the identity theft scheme. There is currently an active warrant out for arrest, and she faces up to 40 years in prison on the current counts.

According to a probable cause statement, the Clay County Sheriff’s Office interviewed Bennett on Thursday, Jan. 22 following her arrest at Ameristar Casino. She told authorities that she would give methamphetamine or pills to Andrea Edgell in exchange for photos of driver’s license and social security numbers she allegedly collected at her work.

Edgell, who has not been charged at this time, works at a car dealership, according to Bennett’s statements, and she allegedly obtained the personal information credit applications submitted for car loans and scanned driver’s licenses submitted for test drives. Bennett said Edgell would text her with the information, and Bennett then used the information to make fraudulent temporary driver’s licenses, obtain credit cards and payday loans and print fraudulent checks.

Authorities became aware of the scheme on Jan. 13 when the Missouri State Highway Patrol responded to reports of a female guest who possessed fraudulent documents, credit cards and checks at Argosy Casino in Riverside, Mo.

Upon arriving in the hotel lobby, a MSHP trooper made contact with security and four of five individuals involved in a dispute. The fifth subject, later identified as Bennett, fled the scene undetected after abandoning her luggage in the lobby.

A search of the belongings revealed photographs of Bennett and her child. Four victims were identified as well through checks and temporary driver’s license with their names.

One of the temporary driver’s licenses in the case contained Edgell’s actual driver’s license number with a picture of one of the victims. The list of items recovered in Bennett’s possession was extensive.

A search of court records shows Bennett currently faces a felony forgery charge and misdemeanor charge of passing a bad check in Clay County. Those charges were filed this past summer, and a warrant for her arrest was issued there earlier this week for failure to appear on those charges.