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Crime & Courts

Anchorage woman sentenced for selling veterans funeral benefits, stealing identities

An Anchorage insurance saleswoman who also worked as an agent selling identity theft protection was sentenced to 4 1/2 years in prison on charges of bank fraud and identity theft, prosecutors said.

Court records show the sentence was handed down Thursday against 50-year-old Kara Hayden Jr.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Aunnie Steward, who prosecuted the case, said Hayden applied for 17 credit cards between October 2014 and December 2015. Hayden used the names, Social Security numbers and birthdates of nine victims, said Steward.

Hayden obtained $14,675 in cash and retail goods before her scheme was discovered, prosecutors said. She has agreed to pay back all of the money, according to a filing from federal public defender Gary Colbath.

"Several of the victims had purchased veterans funeral benefits from Hayden," prosecutors said.

Additionally, a pleading filed in the case indicated Hayden sold identity theft protection for nine years, prosecutors said.

Hayden's LinkedIn profile, provided by prosecutors, lists her as working at Harvard Risk Management of Alaska for nearly a decade, helping customers protect and restore their identities, she wrote.

She also wrote in the profile that her family understands such theft is not simply a financial problem, and lists several instances in which a person's information may be used — for hospital visits, fraudulent tax refunds and obtaining driver's licenses.

The government's sentencing memorandum says Hayden was on supervised release in a state forgery case when she was hit with the federal charges, and several other investigations into her fraudulent insurance activity were ongoing by the Alaska Division of Insurance.

The memorandum says that beyond the credit card applications, Hayden has been connected with 19 bogus insurance applications, four forged court orders and four forged letters harassing her own son and victims in the federal case.

She sent two of the harassing letters after she pleaded guilty in the case, prosecutors said. A handwriting analysis of the letter involving her son concluded that "she may have written the letter falsely claiming to be her son taking responsibility for her crimes."

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