Former Indiana Pension Worker Pleads Guilty to Fraud Charges

September 25, 2003 ( - A former temporary worker for the Indiana Public Employees' Retirement Fund (PERF) pleaded guilty in federal court to stealing money and identities from the fund.

Shaunna Stone pleaded guilty to a single count of bank fraud and 13 counts of misusing the Social Security numbers of other people.   Additionally, Stone admitted stealing $22,586 and seven identities from the fund, according to an Indianapolis Star report.

The charges stem from Stone’s temporary assignment at PERF from September 2001 to May 2002, as refunds analyst.   The position had Stone regularly interfacing with sensitive account information such as dates of birth and Social Security numbers (See  Another Indiana Pension Worker Accused of ID Theft ).

On February 10, 2003, Stone was arrested after applying for a department store card, trying to pass off the Social Security number, employer and date of birth of an employee at an Indiana state correctional facility. An employee at the department store became suspicious after Stone attempted to purchase more than the $3,600 limit on the card.

The arrest led to three felony charges:  forgery, identity deception fraud and attempted theft.

Adding to the fray is that Stone had previously worked in the same benefits department headed by convicted identity thief Walter Kevin Scott, who resigned from his job last August after his criminal past was revealed to state officials (See   Probe Continues into Former Pension Benefits Officer). Additionally, Scott has pleaded guilty to stealing another man’s identity to land a top job at the fund and is scheduled to be sentenced on November 5, 2003.

Sentencing will come later for Stone, who is currently 8 1/2 months pregnant.   She faces a maximum of 30 years in prison for the bank fraud charge and will be ordered to pay restitution.