PLAINVILLE - A Waterbury woman has been accused of buying a Plainville residentâ€™s identity and using it to open up a number of utility accounts.
Valerie Checo, 54, allegedly told police she bought the victimâ€™s identity for $100 and charged others $75 for each utility account she opened up for them, according to her arrest warrant. She said she was sold the manâ€™s name, date of birth and social security number, the document continued.
According to police, the victim reported to investigators on June 16, 2017, that his identity must have been stolen, as Eversource had turned off his gas and electricity for â€śnonpayment.â€ť He said he later found that his name was linked to utility accounts to five different addresses in Torrington and Waterbury.
The victim said he had lost his wallet about five to six years ago, and that since then, his name has been used to open up multiple fraudulent credit cards and cell phone accounts. According to the warrant, Eversource told the victim he owed $3,186.
Police went to one of the addresses linked to a fraudulent utility account, and officers spoke to a woman who said she had paid Checo $75 multiple times to open up a utility account for her. According to the warrant, the woman originally thought Checo was using her own name to open the accounts, but she eventually figured out it had been done with someone elseâ€™s identity.
Officers then spoke to Checo, who admitted to buying the victimâ€™s identity and using it to profit, according to the warrant.
Checo was charged last week with one count each of third-degree larceny and third-degree identity theft. She is free on $10,000 bond, and is scheduled to be arraigned in Bristol Superior Court on Monday.
Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or firstname.lastname@example.org.