A woman stole a New York City fashion executive’s identity, withdrawing thousands of dollars from her bank account and opening credit cards in her name as she was dying in the hospital, state police and relatives say.
State Police say the woman pictured in the bank surveillance images fraudulently withdrew $9,200 from Kate Sullivan’s account from Chase branches at Commack and Freeport on Long Island, and then opened several store cards in New Haven, Connecticut, to make nearly $4,000 in merchandise purchases.
A woman identifying herself as Sullivan’s sister posted the suspect’s photos on her Facebook page, detailing how she uncovered the alleged fraud a week before Sullivan died last September.
“When Kate was in the ICU I answered her phone, it was the bank manager in Long Island,” Sarah Sullivan wrote. “He said a woman came in with a fake ID as Kate, and when he questioned her, she ran out.”
Because the suspect had already withdrawn money at another branch, the family moved immediately to shut down all of Kate Sullivan’s accounts.
“A few weeks after the funeral, I got Kate’s mail and there were all these new store credit cards and bills, they had already been maxed,” wrote Sarah Sullivan. “Somehow she had her Social Security number, address, last four digits of bank # and copied signature from her license.”
“I’ve had to fax death certificates and affidavits to all of the creditors and fly in to meet with the police and lots of other stuff I didn’t need to deal with while I’m mourning my sister’s death,” she said.
Kate Sullivan, 50, was a marketing executive who had worked for fashions designers like Kimora Lee Simmons and Diane von Furstenerg before her death from lung cancer on Sept. 28, Newsday reports. She lived in the Financial District.
Anyone with information is asked to contact State Police Troop L at 631-756-3393.