West Palm Beach, Fl. – Jamie Jakia Cofer, a/k/a “Anna Bell,” 24, of Lake Worth, Florida, was arrested and charged with aggravated identity theft and fraudulent use of unauthorized access devices after using the social security numbers, dates of birth, and other identity and financial information of victims to steal money from their bank accounts, make unauthorized credit card purchases, and engage in other fraudulent transactions. During the alleged crimes, Cofer worked as a home health aide. Four of Cofer’s five known victims were elderly clients of Cofer’s, whose homes she entered with the supposed purpose of helping them with their home health needs.
Ariana Fajardo Orshan, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, FBI, Miami Field Office and Brian Smith, Chief, Juno Beach Police Department made the announcement.
According to allegations in the criminal complaint, for over a year starting in January 2019, Cofer worked as a home health aide servicing senior citizens in the South Florida community. During that time, Cofer gained access to her elderly clients’ social security numbers, dates of birth, bank accounts, credit cards, and other information. Without the knowledge or consent of these elderly clients, Cofer allegedly used the information to steal money from bank accounts, make herself an authorized user on credit accounts, make unauthorized purchases of items such as a mannequin head and wig stand, pay her mobile phone, insurance, and other bills, and send money to a prison inmate, among other things.
For example, Cofer allegedly used one elderly client’s bank account information to set up auto pay on one of Cofer’s utility accounts. Cofer allegedly used her own phone number and email to set up paperless account notifications to prevent this victim from receiving alerts.
Cofer had her initial appearance today in West Palm Beach federal court. Cofer is scheduled for a pre-trial detention hearing on Monday, August 10, 2020, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Dave Lee Brannon.
U.S. Attorney Fajardo Orshan commended the FBI and Juno Beach Police Department for its work on this investigation. She also thanked the Lantana Police Department for its assistance.
Assistant United States Attorney Sarah J. Schall is prosecuting this case.
Anyone with information about allegations of elder fraud can report it by calling the National Elder Fraud Hotline at 1-833-FRAUD-11 or 833–372–8311.
More information about the Department’s efforts to help American seniors is available at its Elder Justice Initiative at https://www.justice.gov/elderjustice. For more information about the Consumer Protection Branch and its enforcement efforts, visit its website at https://www.justice.gov/civil/consumer-protection-branch. Elder fraud complaints may be filed with the FTC at www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov or at 877-FTC-HELP. The Department of Justice provides a variety of resources relating to elder fraud victimization through its Office for Victims of Crime, which can be reached at https://www.ovc.gov.
A criminal complaint is a charging instrument containing allegations. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.