Spring Hill woman accused of stealing MN woman's identity
SPRING HILL (FOX 13) - Hernando County sheriff's investigators said a Minnesota woman moved to Spring Hill and took up an alternate life, using the stolen identity of another Minnesota woman who applied to rent a home from her eight months before.
The Hernando County Sheriff's Office said Angela Brown used information she got from a Minnesota woman's rental application to open multiple bank accounts and rent an apartment under the name Julie Ryan.
The scam began to come undone in August after a Capital City Bank manager told Hernando County sheriff's detectives that "Julie Ryan" deposited several checks into her own account from a Regions Bank account, also under the name "Julie Ryan."
The address listed on the Capital City Bank account was for an apartment on Trumpet Fish Lane s in Spring Hill.
However, detectives soon found similar information for a Julie Ryan in Minnesota. Hernando County detectives contacted law enforcement there, and when they went to the address of Julie Ryan, they discovered Ryan had never been to Hernando County, nor had she opened bank accounts with Capital City Bank or Regions Bank.
Detectives proceeded to contact management at Hibiscus Springs and were told a woman named Julie Ryan rented a unit, but was recently evicted.
Managers said during the eviction process, the name Angela Brown came up.
Hernando County law enforcement began to work with authorities in Minnesota and found out - the Julie Ryan living in Hernando County - was actually 36-year-old Angela Brown, living under another identity.
Meanwhile, the true Julie Ryan in Minnesota told investigators, near the end of 2014, she tried to rent a house from Angela Brown, but the deal fell through. During the rental process, Ryan gave Brown copies of her driver's license and social security card.
"Angela brown used those documents," said Hernando County Sheriff's Office Public Information Officer Denise Moloney. "She moved to Florida, came here and created herself and identity. She got an apartment, she turned on some utilities, she opened several bank accounts, got a Post Office box, all in the name of Julie Ryan, completely unbeknownst to Julie Ryan."
As the investigation continued, investigators said they continued to find evidence Julie Ryan's identity had been used by Angela Brown. They found records of yet another bank account at a Sun Trust, opened in Ryan's name.
The bank accounts were allegedly used to make fraudulent deposits between banks and make miscellaneous purchases. Investigators said they also found video from several banks, showing Brown opening the accounts and making fraudulent transactions.
"Everyone that knew her, knew her as Julie Ryan," Moloney said. "That's how the witnesses identified her."
Neighbors we spoke with used words like "free bird" and "odd" to describe Brown. One neighbor said Brown often talked about Minnesota and even shared pictures of a teenage daughter.
Hernando County law enforcement ultimately issued arrest warrants for Brown in October, but they discovered she fled back to Minnesota.
Authorities caught up with Brown in November and brought her back to the Hernando County Detention Center. She faces charges of:
- Criminal Use of Personal Identification Information (5 counts)
- Forgery (16 counts)
- Uttering a Forged Check (16 counts)
- Organized Fraud - Less than $20,000
Her bond was set at $84,000.
Investigators said they continue to look into Brown's activity in Hernando County and additional charges could follow.