HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) – An Ohio woman will spend the next three years behind bars for fraud crimes.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Laura D. Jackson, 33, of Gallipolis, Ohio, was sentenced on Nov. 13, 2023, to three years and two months in prison on the charges. Her sentence also includes three years of supervised release following her prison term. The DOJ says Jackson will also be required to pay $26,074.13 in restitution.
Jackson pleaded guilty in September 2022 to two counts of mail fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.
According to court records, Jackson was working at a human resources business in South Charleston, West Virginia, around the time of Sept. 17, 2018, when she obtained the personal identification information of a person who applied for a job at the business. The DOJ says that between Sept. 18 and Sept. 27, 2018, Jackson used the person’s stolen information to apply for and receive two credit cards. Court records say Jackson admitted to using the cards to make purchases totaling approximately $10,626.
The DOJ says Jackson allegedly admitted that she had also committed acts of fraud at other businesses before and after her employment at the South Charleston business.
According to the DOJ, prior to working in South Charleston, Jackson had begun a job at a coal company in Milton around Jan. 8, 2018. Court documents say she had access to the company credit card and used it to make personal purchases totaling approximately $4,451, including items such as an iPad, Nintendo Switch, a smart watch and a vacation to St. Charles, Missouri in April of that year.
Court records say Jackson is accused of lying about the vacation to her employer, claiming she had had a “medical emergency” and had allegedly forged a medical record to support that lie. She was fired from the company in June 2018, according to the DOJ.
After her employment at the South Charleston business, Jackson was hired in October 2018 as a human resources generalist at an insurance company in St. Albans. The DOJ says she used her position in that company to access the personal identification information of at least five other employees and attempted to apply for credit cards in their names. Court officials say she received a credit card in one of the employees names in December 2018, and made purchases totaling approximately $2,878.
The DOJ says around that time, the St. Albans insurance company learned Jackson had been arrested in connection to the fraud accusations at the coal company. Jackson allegedly told the insurance company that she had been “wrongly accused,” and according to the DOJ, she produced forged documents that made it appear that the court case had been dismissed and that she had received a settlement from the company for the “false accusations.”
According to the DOJ, she was fired from that insurance company in February 2019.
The DOJ says she was then hired by a tax firm in Cross Lanes in January 2020. At the firm, her role was to provide accounting, bookkeeping, payroll and tax-related services. Court records say she admitted that she accessed one of the clients’ payroll records and added a fake employee using her ex-husband’s Social Security Number without his knowledge. The DOJ says after she did this, the client deposited a paycheck for $1,067 in the fake employee’s name into Jackson’s bank account in October 2020.
According to the DOJ, from September 2020 to December 2020, Jackson also defrauded a church that was a client of the tax firm. Court records say she wrote checks payable from the church to herself totaling approximately $7,050 and cashed them in Kanawha County. The DOJ says she allegedly manipulated the church’s bookkeeping information to hide what she had done.