Update: Fort Mitchell woman arrested for aiding identity thieves - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Update: Fort Mitchell woman arrested for aiding high-tech identity thieves

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FORT MITCHELL, AL (WTVM) -

She's accused of helping an international organization of identity thieves defraud multi-million dollar corporations and she's from Fort Mitchell, Alabama.

Mary Ann Allen's house in the Farmbrook subdivision was one of many stops for packages of illegally obtained electronics making their way from New York City to foreign countries like Nigeria.  Allen is waiting to be extradited to North Carolina where she will be officially charged for her role in the elaborate scheme uncovered last week.

Sheriff Heath Taylor explained in a press conference that he and his team of investigators seized hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of stolen computer equipment that was being shipped UPS across the country. When he made the announcement last Wednesday, Allen had not yet been arrested.

Companies like Office Depot and ASI Computer were tricked into sending out the shipments by criminals posing as purchasers for McGraw Hill.  According to investigators, packages made pit stops at homes across the country, with the consent of willing participants like Allen, in an attempt to throw feds off the trail.

A stone's throw from Fort Benning, Farmbrook is a neighborhood mostly populated by residents who are active or retired military. One man who lives two doors down from Allen says he would never expect this level of criminal conduct from a person in this community.

"I would assume that they are well-disciplined people and very loyal to the country. It's a surprise to hear that something like this is taking place in my neighborhood," said retired veteran, loama Sialega.

Today, there are several people staying in the house where the stolen goods were seized, but Allen is the only person charged in this crime. So far, the rest of her family does not appear to have been involved.

It's not clear how a woman from Fort Mitchell could have become involved in an elaborate plan to steal high tech hard drives and ship them to third world countries. Authorities have not commented on how much money Allen stood to make playing her part in this Internet fraud.

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