Sneaky Movie Scam Busted, Feds Say

LOS ANGELES (CN) – A California woman offered senior citizens parts in bogus movies to steal their identities and defraud the state of $500,000 in unemployment benefits, federal prosecutors said.
     Dena Peterman, 32, of the tiny Antelope Valley town of Littlerock, was charged Friday with conspiracy, aggravated identity theft and six counts of mail fraud.
     Peterman and her unidentified co-conspirators stole the identities of old-timers for two years by claiming they could get them parts in remakes of the movies “Cocoon” and “On Golden Pond,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. Both movies featured old people.
     Peterman and her cohorts created phony movie companies and submitted the stolen Social Security numbers to the state for unemployment benefits, the U.S. attorney said in a statement. Prosecutors think Peterman and her co-conspirators got $500,000 from the scam.
     Peterman was arrested on May 18 and is being held without bond until her June 5 arraignment.
     Each mail fraud count in the grand jury indictment is punishable by up to 20 years in prison, conspiracy by 5 years, and identity theft by a mandatory 2-year consecutive sentence.

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