Woman gets prison time for applying for student loans with kids’ IDs

A Newnan woman who received $200,000 in student financial aid is headed to federal prison for fraud.

Andrea R. Williams will spend six years and seven months incarcerated, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in North Georgia announced.

“Williams stole the identities of dozens of innocent victims, using them to file fraudulent student aid applications,” U.S. Attorney John Horn said.

Three of those victims were Williams’ minor children, according to the news release.

The 36-year-old was caught after being awarded $500,000 in financial aid when she signed her own name on an application made using a stolen identity.

She admitted to officials that she stole the identities from the patient database of a healthcare company where she briefly worked. She also admitted to using stolen identities to obtain numerous credit cards that she used to purchase electronics, clothing and furniture.

Finally, she admitted that she forged a doctor's signature on a medical disability statement in order to get approximately $47,000 of her personal education debt discharged.

Williams pleaded guilty in October.

“Identity theft is a growing problem, one that turns up in every segment of our society,” Horn said. “We encourage all citizens to be diligent in checking their credit reports, and monitoring their e-mail and social media for suspicious activity. If something does not seem legitimate, most likely it is not.”

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