EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

July 11, 2013

Police file charges in 6-year ID theft

By Marjorie Nesin
Staff Writer

---- — One Gloucester woman’s battle with identity fraud could soon come to a close after police arrested the woman whom they believe has used the Gloucester woman’s name and social security number as her own since 2006.

Concepcion Cabrera, a 48-year-old Andover woman, has allegedly answered to the name of a stolen identity for about seven years, according to police. The top of her cell phone bill lists an alias, but she applied to the housekeeping job at La Quinta Inn in Andover and worked there under the stolen identity in a move that ultimately tipped off the victim. The Gloucester woman is not being identified.

“(The victim) has never worked for this company,” Gloucester Detective Thomas Quinn wrote in his report.

Gloucester District Court Judge Joseph Jennings ordered Cabrera held without bail after her arraignment Wednesday on the charges of identity fraud and being a fugitive from justice. Cabrera had admitted to police during an interview that she opened a credit card in the Gloucester woman’s name and never paid the bill. But she has also allegedly worked at four different companies since 2006, using the victim’s name as her own in landing and working each job.

Jennings listed the reasons for holding Cabrera in a court document, pointing to the nature of the offenses and the circumstances, the potential penalty she faces and her fraudulent use of an alias or false identification. He also noted that Cabrera is a fugitive from justice in New Hampshire.

Records show that Cabrera is also a wanted person in New Hampshire due to a charge of check forgery from back in 1992. She was found guilty of cashing $300 on a stolen check that she wrote to herself and signed with the owner’s name. Cabrera failed to pay a balance of $61 on restitution for the charge even after serving 60 days of a 12-month sentence for the crime. She also failed to appear in a New Hampshire court for a hearing in October 2003.

Cabrera stood in the custody box after her arraignment here Wednesday crying and speaking through the glass to three people who had entered the emptied court room to see her.

Detective Quinn began the investigation Tuesday after the Gloucester woman reported Monday that the identity theft was keeping her from receiving public assistance.

“The victim has suffered financial ruin to her credit and was denied transitional assistance due to false employment records,” Quinn wrote.

Quinn began the investigation by calling La Quinta in Andover to confirm that a woman using the victim’s name worked at the hotel. He took the trip to Andover and met Cabrera at the hotel. He asked Cabrera a series of questions, which she allegedly answered incorrectly.

“As I questioned her further, she became confused, and at that time I told her to tell us who she really is,” Quinn said.

Along with the stolen identity, Cabrera admitted to using the names Concepcion Gomez, Concepcion Cabrera, Concepcion Gomas, Brenda Gomez and Marta Ortiz. The latter, she told police, was just a name she liked.

“She uses this name because someone once called her it and she liked it,” Quinn wrote.

While in jail Tuesday night awaiting her Wednesday arraignment, Cabrera began “complaining of an anxiety attack” and was transported to Addison Gilbert Hospital, according to police.

There, she told a police officer that she could not provide her medical history to an Emergency Room doctor because she receives prescriptions under an alias from a Lawrence pharmacy. The doctor then refused to give any prescription to Cabrera and police returned her to the holding cell.

According to police, Cabrera had gathered the information she allegedly used to copy the Gloucester woman’s identity from a past boyfriend who had a prior relationship with the victim. The victim had first reported her identity stolen in 2007, but Gloucester police forwarded the report on to police in Methuen, the town where Cabrera was then living, and received no results.

Cabrera’s list of prior offenses also includes charges of theft by deception and forgery after a 1985 arrest in New Hampshire and the forgery charges she is still “wanted” for in New Hampshire from 1992. An active warrant out of Lawrence District Court calls for Cabrera’s arrest and return to the court on a charge of unlicensed driving from 2002.

Additional charges may arise as the investigation continues, according to police.

Jennings determined that Cabrera is indigent but able to contribute $150 toward paying her court appointed attorney John Bjorlie. Cabrera will return to court Friday.

Marjorie Nesin can be reached at 978-283-7000, x3451, or at mnesin@gloucestertimes.com.