Nursing assistant sentenced to 10 years in prison for ID theft scheme

A woman accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars through an elaborate identity theft scheme was sentenced in DuPage County court Monday to 10 years in prison.

Destiney Baker, 37, pleaded guilty to one felony count of theft by deception, one felony count of financial exploitation of the elderly and one felony count of aggravated identity theft. DuPage Judge Daniel Guerin handed down the prison sentence after accepting Baker's guilty pleas.

Baker was a certified nursing assistant when she met her victims through a staffing agency, authorities said.

Baker originally was charged with stealing banking information from her victims and using that information to gain access to their bank accounts beginning in 2016 and continuing through February 2019. Authorities said Baker also opened new accounts using her victims' information.

In the process, prosecutors said, Baker stole hundreds of thousands of dollars and used the funds for personal expenses, including airline tickets to Hawaii for herself and three children, tuition for her children at a private school and veterinary services for her dog.

In July 2022, Baker was accused of illegally obtaining more than $80,000 in loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration's Paycheck Protection Program.

Investigators learned that Baker had illegally applied for five government-sponsored PPP loans, prosecutors said.

In three of these loans, Baker used her name with a false social security number, prosecutors said, and, in the other two, Baker used other people's names, including the name of a deceased person who is a victim in one of the other cases against Baker.

Baker's thefts totaled $294,706.78, according to the DuPage state's attorney's office. The court ordered her to pay that amount in restitution.

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