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Grayson couple guilty of ID theft

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A married couple from Elk Creek pleaded guilty to stealing the identity of an elderly man for whom they provided in-home care, and using the information to commit bank fraud.

Robbie Kevin Poole, 50, and his wife, Kathryn Rebecca Poole, 58, entered pleas of guilty in U.S. District Court in Roanoke to two counts of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.

“The victim here was particularly vulnerable, due to his age,” said United States Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy. “The victim’s family put their trust in the Pooles to take care of their loved one.

“The pair betrayed that trust and committed multiple crimes. Bringing them to justice in this matter demonstrates our commitment to protecting the elderly and the vigorous pursuit of identity theft.”

According to evidence presented at the guilty plea hearing, an identity theft investigation was launched after a report by family members. They claimed that fraud had been committed with several bank and credit card accounts.

The investigation showed the Pooles performed in-home care for the elderly Elk Creek man and used their access to his home and financial documents to open credit card accounts, forge checks, and add Robbie Poole as an authorized user on the victim’s credit card accounts.

Evidence showed it was determined that among other purchases, the Pooles put a $9,000 down payment toward the purchase of a 2009 Ford Flex automobile by using one of the victim’s credit cards.

In order to take control of the credit card accounts, it was determined that Robbie and Kathryn Poole had called the credit card companies on numerous occasions and falsely represented themselves as the victim and his wife, who was actually deceased.

A search warrant was issued for the Poole residence on Elk Creek Parkway, where documents were found inside the residence belonging to the victim. Credit cards also were found bearing the names of the victim and his deceased wife.

Authorities said the Pooles admitted in November 2009 to using accounts belonging to the victim and doing so without permission.

The Pooles admitted to making several telephone calls to a credit card company to obtain access to the accounts and to add Robbie Poole as an authorized user, evidence showed.

Both admitted to forging numerous checks that belonged to the victim. The total loss to the victim was determined to be $90,863.94, according to the federal prosecutor.

Robbie and Kathryn Poole each face a potential maximum sentence of up to 62 years in prison and up to $2 million in fines.

Each faces a mandatory minimum sentence of two years in prison on the aggravated identity theft charge and payment of restitution of $90,863.94. A sentencing date has not been set.

The investigation was done by the Grayson County Sheriff’s Department, the Secret Service, and the U.S. Marshals Service.