For Immediate Release - June 08, 2010

Greenfield Woman Pleads Guilty, Sentenced for Identity Fraud and Stealing Nearly $7,000 From the State

GREENFIELD - A former Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) employee pled guilty yesterday before the start of her trial in Greenfield Superior Court in connection with stealing the identities of five individuals who were receiving assistance, and used that information to steal nearly $7,000 from the state. Linda Gilmore, age 63, of Greenfield, pled guilty to charges of Conspiracy, Larceny, Electronic Funds Transfer Violation (5 counts), Identity Fraud (5 counts), and Department of Transitional Assistance False Representations (5 counts). After the plea was entered, Superior Court Judge Judd J. Carhart sentenced Gilmore to two and a half years in the House of Correction, with one year to serve, and the balance suspended for a probationary period of three years. While on probation, Gilmore will be monitored on GPS via an electronic bracelet, and she must undergo a mental health evaluation.

"At a time when many people are struggling financially, it is troubling that someone in a position of trust whose job it was to help those in need would abuse her position for personal gain," AG Coakley said. "Our office and the Courts take crimes against the Commonwealth very seriously, and the successful result of this case is a good example of how those who try to defraud the system will be held responsible."

Gilmore's niece, Tracy Warner, age 37, of Greenfield, also pled guilty today to the same charges in connection with this case. Judge Carhart continued her case without a finding for three years and ordered her to serve 200 hours of community service.

In July 2007 , the Attorney General's Office began an investigation after the DTA had notified the office of Warner and Gilmore's activities. During the period of April 2006 through May 2007, both Gilmore, a 21-year veteran clerk for the Greenfield DTA office and Warner fraudulently issued replacement Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards, and used these cards for their own personal use to obtain food or cash. Investigators discovered that Gilmore used her position as a clerk at the DTA to steal the personal information and identities of five individuals who already had EBT cards from the DTA, and that both she and Warner used these cards at grocery stores in and around Greenfield. Investigators from the DTA and the Attorney General's Office discovered that through this scheme, Gilmore and Warner stole nearly $7,000 from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

A Franklin County Grand Jury returned indictments against Gilmore and Warner on March 17, 2009. On March 26, 2009, both women were arraigned in Greenfield Superior Court where they both plead not guilty and were released on personal recognizance. Yesterday, Gilmore and Warner pled guilty before the start of their trial and were sentenced.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Stephen Adams and was investigated by Luke Goldworm and Kristen Brown, all of AG Coakley's Insurance and Unemployment Fraud Division.