|June 19, 2006
Media Contact: Jenn Meale
Phone: (850) 245-0150
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TALLAHASSEE - Attorney General Charlie Crist today announced that a Hillsborough County woman was sentenced to 10 years in prison after she pled guilty to identity theft. Tracie Soberon ran an identity theft operation that targeted more than 30 people and stole more than $184,000.
A year-long investigation conducted by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office revealed that Soberon, 32, was the ring leader of an identity theft ring that operated throughout the state, stealing personal checks and driver’s licenses. The group cashed the stolen checks at various banks, stealing more than $184,000 from at least 36 victims. Soberon was arrested in November 2004 and was prosecuted by Crist’s Office of Statewide Prosecution.
"Identity theft is a terrible crime because it steals more than money – it steals a person’s good name," said Crist. "The tough penalties established in 2003 should serve as a deterrent for would-be thieves."
Soberon was charged with criminal use of personal identification and organized fraud, both first-degree felonies. She was sentenced to a 10-year minimum mandatory prison term and is not eligible for a shortened sentence under Florida’s Identity Theft Statute. Five co-defendants have already been sentenced; one received a five-year sentence and the rest are now on probation. Soberon’s sentence was handed down by Circuit Court Judge Robert Morris.
Attorney General Crist worked with the Legislature to pass the Identity Theft law in 2003 that raised this crime to felony levels. Soberon received the maximum prison term under that law.
A copy of the criminal charges filed against Soberon is available at: http://myfloridalegal.com/webfiles.nsf/WF/MRAY-6QSQKR/$file/Soberon_Information.pdf