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Liposuction ID Thief Sentenced to 12 Years

Mia Garza
District Attorney Jan Scully announced today that 31 year-old Mia Garza was sentenced by the Honorable Gary Ransom to 12 years, 4 months in prison to run consecutive to a 2 year, 8 month prison sentence for charges in Contra Costa County. A hearing will be held in January to determine restitution, which is expected to exceed $1 million.

Last month, Garza pled no contest to multiple felony counts of identity theft, and admitted an aggravated white collar crime enhancement. At the time she committed these crimes, Garza was out on bail for identity theft charges in both Contra Costa and Sacramento counties. Garza worked as a benefits clerk with the SEIU/UHW-West in Oakland, California.

In July 2007, Garza unlawfully accessed an electronic file containing names, addresses and personal identifying information for more than 29,000 Kaiser Permanente employees. With the stolen Kaiser personnel data, Garza ran background checks and credit reports to obtain additional personal information and locate the victims’ commercial credit accounts. Investigators located more than 300 actual victims of identity theft in 14 counties that are attributable to Garza.

The case led to an investigation by the Sacramento Valley High Tech Task Force, the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office and Kaiser Permanente investigators that lasted nearly two years. Charges were filed against Garza in numerous counties throughout California.

The resolution in the Sacramento case takes jurisdiction over cases in those other counties. Garza’s most notable arrest occurred in Sacramento in 2009. When arrested, she was wearing a preoperative surgical gown and was about to undergo a $12,000 liposuction procedure that she had arranged while posing as a victim, and using a victim’s credit card information.

A number of Garza’s victims attended today’s hearing and voiced impassioned pleas for the maximum sentence.

Deputy District Attorney Robert Clancey states, “Thanks to the hard work and dedication of the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department and the California Highway Patrol, we were able to hold this defendant accountable for her crimes and prevent future victims.”

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