DENVER (CBS4)– A major identity theft and fraud ring has been busted after allegedly stealing nearly $1 million. The Colorado Attorney General’s Office says the elaborate scam set up phony businesses and then created employees for the businesses who filed for unemployment benefits.
Zanthia Woodard, 46, was the target of a CBS4 Investigation in 2014. The Attorney General’s Office calls Woodard the alleged mastermind of the fraud ring that cheated federal and state agencies out of nearly $1 million.READ MORE: COVID In Colorado: Doctors React To FDA Decision On Vaccine Booster Shots For Only Targeted Group
State investigators claim she did it by making up non-existent businesses and filing fake insurance claims and tax refunds.
According to the Attorney General’s Office, there are four defendants who have been charged with 34 felony counts. The indictment from the grand jury accuses them of organized crime, theft, filing false tax returns, computer crimes, identity theft, attempts to influence public servants and criminal conspiracy.READ MORE: Barry Morphew Will Stand Trial For Murder Of Wife Suzanne
One alleged conspirator previously worked at Wells Fargo bank.
According to the idictment, Jenae Cruz created accounts without the consent of the account holders and in violation of the bank’s policies. The bank terminated Cruz.
Court documents show that Woodard spent the money on Cadillac car payments, gambling in Black Hawk and vacations in Los Angeles and Miami.MORE NEWS: Gabby Petito Traveled To Great Sand Dunes, Colorado Springs With Fiancé Before She Seemingly Disappeared
The Colorado Department of Corrections said Woodard entered the state prison system in 2000 on forgery, theft and assault charges and completed her sentence in 2009.