DAYTON – Melody Hudson, 38, of Dayton, appeared in U.S. District Court today to face charges in an indictment alleging that she stole the identity of a 72-year old retired man and redirected his $919 monthly pension benefits to a bank account she controlled.
The indictment alleges that Hudson used the victim’s personal information to divert his pension benefits from his bank account into an account she controlled and withdrew money for her personal use. The alleged crimes took place between April and November 2019. On one occasion, she allegedly called the agency that was paying the pension, identified herself as a relative of the victim, and had someone impersonate the victim on the phone call with the agency.
The indictment charges Hudson with one count of bank fraud, which is punishable by up to 30 years in prison, one count of aggravated identity theft that carries a mandatory two-year prison term which must be served consecutive to any other prison time, and one count of use of another person’s Social Security number, a crime punishable by up to five years in prison.
Michigan State Police arrested Hudson in Lansing, Mich. on July 30. The U.S. Marshals Service transported her to Dayton to face the charges against her.
David M. DeVillers, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, along with the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, Office of Inspector General announced the indictment unsealed today following Hudson’s initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael J. Newman.
Hudson is scheduled to appear in court again tomorrow for a detention hearing.
U.S. Attorney DeVillers also gratefully acknowledged the assistance of the U.S. Marshals Service and the Michigan State Police in apprehending Hudson. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Landry is representing the United States in this case.
The case is being prosecuted as part of the Justice Department’s Elder Fraud initiative. The Department launched a National Elder Fraud Hotline in March to provide services to seniors who may be victims of financial fraud. The Hotline’s toll free number is 833-FRAUD-11. Statements contained in indictments are allegations only. Defendants should be presumed innocent unless convicted in a court of law.
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