Woman convicted of identity theft learns fate - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Woman convicted of identity theft learns fate

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LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- A woman convicted of stealing the identities of several people and impersonating them on Facebook has been sentenced to five years of probation.

Police said after Crystal Vanarsdale was arrested that she used the names and images of her victims to create Facebook accounts for them, "without their consent or permission and/or the consent or permission of their families."

As part of her probation, Vanarsdale must stay out of trouble and complete drug counseling. If she does not, she could face up to three years in prison.

Police said Vanarsdale was targeting child cancer patients, saying she would create Facebook accounts but would modify one key characteristic, such as a middle name or date of birth. Then she would pretend to be that person online and solicit money.

Vanarsdale would allegedly message or chat back-and-forth with sympathetic Facebook users when pretending to be the cancer patients.

Police said the financial gain she reaped from doing this was very small (she did not have a Paypal account to receive online donations) and that her crime may have been motivated more by emotion than by personal financial gain.

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