Iowa News

Woman guilty of defrauding Iowa church volunteers

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) -- A former Iowa church employee is admitting she stole the identities of dozens of volunteers who counsel female prisoners to open lines of credit.

Shelley Bridges of Indianola pleaded guilty Friday to aggravated identity theft and credit card fraud. She faces at least two years in prison at sentencing.

Bridges acknowledged she had access to documents containing personal identifying information about parishioners of United Methodist Church in Des Moines who volunteered to meet with women incarcerated at Mitchellville.

Bridges stopped working there in 2008, when she was sent to prison for a probation violation. The church gave her belongings to her aunt. After she got out in August, Bridges found the documents and used information of at least 48 people to apply for credit, causing more than $10,000 in losses.

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