EASTERN SHORE, Va. (WAVY) — A local tax preparer pleaded guilty to aggravated identity theft on Tuesday.
Senior United States District Judge Robert G. Doumar accepted the plea from 41-year-old Sherry R. Kelley of Exmore, Va., according to Deanna Warren with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.
Kelley was indicted in June on 10 counts of aggravated identity theft and 10 counts of using other’s social security numbers. She pleaded guilty to only one count of the indictment.
Kelley used to own and run four H&R Block franchises on the Eastern Shore: Belle haven, Onley, Melfa, and Cheriton. Warren said Kelley misused the identity information of about 20 clients, forging their names to apply for credit from H&R Block Bank.
“Then, using debit cards issued with the approved credit lines, Kelley made thousands of dollars in purchases and ATM cash withdrawals against the fraudulently obtained accounts, before later repaying the sums taken,” Warren said.
Kelley faces a mandatory penalty of two years in prison when she is sentenced on January 20.