Friday, November 30, 2007

Former Social Services employee to plead guilty in identity theft case

The remaining defendants in an identity fraud case involving the use of fraudulently obtained cellphones by prisoners are scheduled to plead guilty next week in U. S. District Court in Jefferson City.
Court records indicate Robin Lynette Deardorff, a former employee of the Missouri Department of Social Services, will change her plea during a 9 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 5, hearing before Judge William Knox. Anna May Stephens' plea change hearing is set for Tuesday, Dec. 4.
Ms. Deardorff, 31, Jefferson City, was indicted by a federal grand jury June 1 for a fraud scheme in which she and six others allegedly used Social Security numbers, names and birth dates to set up cell phone and landline phone service to help prisoners make calls through the accounts. She faces one charge of fraud and four counts of identity theft.

At the time she was indicted, Mrs. Deardorff was a state employee, working for the Family Support Division of the Department of Social Services. The arrest was an embarrassment for Social Services, with officials claiming that it takes several weeks to conduct a background check and that is why no one had discovered any problems with Mrs. Deardorff's background.

In the June 14 Turner Report, I noted that it only took me a few minutes to discover enough information to keep Mrs. Deardorff from ever holding a job in which she dealt with taxpayer money:

Perhaps someone needs to give our state bureaucrats a lesson on how to do a simple background check. It only took The Turner Report five minutes (not one month or eight to 12 weeks) to uncover enough information to sound warning bells about the prospect of Mrs. Deardorff working for the state government, or in any position of responsibility, for that matter.

A simple check of shows eight listings for Mrs. Deardorff, including seven criminal charges. The oldest charge, dating back to 1993, was for misdemeanor stealing, for which she received five days in jail and was placed on probation.

Two years later, Mrs. Deardorff received 30 days in jail for endangering the welfare of a child, not exactly the type of activity that seems in keeping with the Family Support Division of the Department of Social Services.

The remainder of the criminal charges involve annual charges of driving while revoked from 2003 through 2006, with the last three times involving the use of electronic shackles in lieu of jail time.

In 2005, she also pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of passing a bad check.

It would not have taken long for a background check to uncover the news that Mrs. Deardorff's husband (and co-defendant) Clayton Deardorff, is an unwilling guest in a Missouri state penitentiary.

I uncovered more information about Mrs. Deardorff's background in the June 16 Turner Report:

A quick check of records under Mrs. Deardorff's maiden name, Robin Sidney, shows yet another conviction. On July 13, 1995, she pleaded guilty to misdemeanor stealing charges and was placed on supervised probation for two years. This was the second time she had pleaded guilty to a stealing charge.

The case also featured two Department of Revenue employees as defendants. Both of them have entered guilty pleas.

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