HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Hancock County Sheriff's Department Investigator AJ Gambino says Lynda Wolfe walked out of jail today a free woman after he learned Wolfe was a victim of identity theft.
According to Gambino, another woman, Shara Leon, who was Wolfe's neighbor at one point, somehow developed a scheme to use Wolfe's name with account numbers Leon allegedly stole from an elderly man in Diamondhead.
Leon is accused of stealing more than $27,000 from the Diamondhead man and using his money to pay off several debts she owed.
"Leon was associating Ms. Wolfe's name with the stolen account numbers and she made payments so it looked like Ms. Wolfe was making payments to her own personal bills," said Gambino. "For example, a health insurance bill. Leon would add Ms. Wolfe's name to her account and she would then add the stolen routing number and account number and put that Ms. Wolfe was the person that owned that account."
Authorities originally believed Wolfe was in on the theft due to evidence that showed she made payments to her personal bills, but investigator are now saying Wolfe had no knowledge of that.
"We have evidence in our hand that proves Wolfe is innocent and is a victim of identity theft," Gambino said.
Wolfe was booked at the Hancock County jail Thursday night and was released at 10 Tuesday morning.
"I'm doing a lot better now. I'm ready to go home," said Wolfe. "She was a neighbor from four years ago that I thought was helping me pay my bills on my computer with my own money."
Leon was helping Wolfe pay bills online several years ago because she had difficulty doing it on her own, according to Gambino.
Leon is still at the Hancock County jail. She faces numerous charges including wire transfer fraud, exploitation of a vulnerable adult, and today she faces an additional charge of identity theft.