CHICAGO — A Chicago woman accused by prosecutors of stealing several people's identities, including "Empire" actress Taraji P. Henson's identity, appeared in court Sunday..
The Chicago Tribune reported that Alicia Newby has been charged with a single felony count of continuing a financial crime enterprise.
The publication reported that victims were not named, but police and court records say Henson is among them. Only two victims were mentioned at the hearing before Judge Charles S. Beach II, but an investigation found "multiple other victims," The Tribune reported.
Prosecutors said Newby, 29, was able to steal Henson's identity by accessing her email.
“Once this was done, the defendant then raided the account for a variety of information," Assistant State’s Attorney James Costello said in court. Phone numbers, financial accounts and addresses were used by her to purchase things online, Costello said.
Prosecutors determined that Newby made more than $12,000 worth of fraudulent transactions. More than $4,000 was canceled once Henson's manager noticed the fraud in August 2018.
Officials haven't said how Newby and Henson knew each other. The Tribune, citing an unnamed police source, reported that investigators were looking into whether any other "Empire" cast members were targeted.
Newby's lawyer asked for a reasonable bond, saying the crime wasn't violent and his client is a mother of six with bipolar disorder. Beach has barred Newby from using the internet while the case is pending. She is due back in court next week.
A representative for Henson has not commented on the case.
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