During the first week of the new year, the Titus County Sheriff’s Office (TCSO) received multiple complaints from citizens regarding identity theft.
During the investigation, the TCSO was led to a suspect named Selena Patino, 38, who was identified as a former Texas Department of Health and Human Service worker in Mount Pleasant.
Investigators determined that Patino assumed the identity of clients receiving immunizations and other services at the Texas Department of Health and Human Services on N. Jefferson in Mount Pleasant.
She used this client information and applied for credit cards online and - once approved - made as many purchases as the credit card would allow.
On Friday, January 4th, a search and arrest warrant was issued for Patino and her residence located in the 4800 block of FM 1735. Some of the property that Patino purchased with the credit cards was recovered, along with stolen credit cards and immunization records.
Other documents with client names - or family members’ names - and social security numbers were also found.
“The list of individuals that had their information stolen is still growing and we believe it to be in the hundreds,” said Sheriff Tim Ingram. “If you have used the services of the office of the Texas Department of Health and Human Services in Mount Pleasant in the past few months, you need to check your credit report.”
“We are going to contact the Texas Department of Health with a list of clients that we know had their identity compromised,” said Ingram, “and you should expect the Texas Department of Health to contact you.”
Patino has been charged with Fraudulent Use or Possession of Identifying information, a 2nd Degree Felony, and Credit Card Abuse, a State Jail Felony. An individual adjudged guilty of a felony of the second degree shall be punished by imprisonment in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for any term of not more than 20 years or less than two years. In addition to imprisonment, an individual adjudged guilty may be punished by a fine not to exceed $10,000.
Patino bonded out of the Titus County jail Saturday with a $25,000 bond on the Fraudulent Use charge and a $6,000 bond on the Credit Card or Debit Card abuse charge.