An identity theft investigation is underway at assisted living facilities in two counties where a nurse had previously worked. The licensed practical nurse is accused of stealing the identity of a disabled 88 year-old patient at a Smithfield nursing home then using his name, birth date and social security number to set up numerous credit card accounts and to obtain personal bank loans.
According to the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO), in mid-2019 Jessica Annette Williams of Fayetteville was placed by a staffing agency at Barbour Court Nursing & Rehabilitation Center at 515 Barbour Road in Smithfield. While working at Barbour Court, Williams allegedly stole the identity of a disabled man. Between June and December 2019, using the victim’s stolen identity, Williams reportedly set up credit card accounts with BB&T, Capital One and NetSpend.
On October 31, 2019, Williams obtained a $3,500 personal loan from the Navy Federal Credit Union in his name. A week later, on November 6, 2019 she obtained another $8,000 personal loan from the same credit union, once again in the name of the 88 year-old nursing home resident.
Within a 24 hour period, on December 7, 2019, Williams used the BB&T card to buy merchandise at Food Lion on Cleveland Road, Clayton, make ATM withdrawals from BB&T, and obtain cash from Woodforest Bank. Altogether, $1,8212.86 was fraudulently obtained in just one day, according to copies of arrest warrants.
Johnston County Sheriff Steve Bizzell expressed his appreciation for the hard work by Detective Lt. Ryan Benson to investigate and solve the case.
The 35 year-old suspect also worked at the Penick Village retirement community in the Moore County town of Southern Pines. Captain Charles Campbell with the Southern Pines Police Department confirmed Tuesday their agency has an active investigation underway but no charges have been filed.
Jessica Annette Williams has been charged with six felonies for her alleged crimes in Johnston County. Five of those are identity theft charges. One is for obtaining property by false pretenses. She is currently free on a $20,000 bond. Sheriff’s investigators say other potential charges against Williams are possible.
We reached out to Barbour Court Nursing & Rehabilitation Center for a comment. They had not responded by press time.