Police: Former tax preparer used customer information to steal identities

Credit: Tarrant County Jail

Credit: Tarrant County Jail

A former tax preparer in north Texas is accused of using customer information to steal their identities, WFAA reported.

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Shelby Leigh Sanders, 29, faces one charge of fraudulent use or possession of identification information, the television station reported. She remains in the Tarrant County Jail in lieu of $7,500 bond.

A traffic stop Monday in Blue Mound for an expired registration led police to the discovery of multiple driver's licenses and credit cards, KDFW reported. Sanders was a passenger in a vehicle driven by David Smith, 38, and both were arrested on outstanding warrants, WFAA reported. Smith was wanted for a parole violation, and Sanders had an outstanding warrant for fraud from Collin County, the television station reported.

When police officer Dusty Steele searched the vehicle, he found more IDs and credit cards, KTVT reported.

“I thought it was maybe a car burglary, or a theft or a house burglary, because we see that,” Steele told the television station.

During questioning, Sanders told Steele she used to be a tax preparer for Jackson Hewitt inside a Walmart Supercenter in McKinney, WFAA reported. Sanders worked for the tax preparation company from December 2017 until April 2018, authorities said.

Police said they have found eight victims of identity theft so far, but that number could increase, KDFW reported. Steele said Sanders admitted she requested copies of new driver's licenses for those victims from the Department of Public Safety, and opened up credit cards and bank accounts in their names, WFAA reported.

Steele told the television station that Sanders admitted to printing out vital information for as many as 30 customers, and chose customers who resembled her.

"If we hadn't pulled her over, she could have kept doing this for who knows how long," Steele told WFAA.

Sanders and Smith are in jail in Tarrant County, KDFW reported.

Jackson Hewitt has not responded to a request for comment, WFAA reported.

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