Identity Theft Prosecution
WCDA Announces 12 Year Sentence Secured in ID Theft Case

Media Release
For Immediate Release

Contact: Michelle Bays
775.321.4307 (o); 775.771.6049 (c)

The Washoe County District Attorney’s Office has announced that a Reno woman has been sentenced to 12 years in prison in connection with an identity theft prosecution. The case involved the defendant fraudulently using stolen personal identification, checking account data and credit information belonging to the victim.  The sentence ensures the defendant will serve a minimum of 4 years in prison before parole eligibility begins. 

Heather Ann Carey, 27, from Reno pled guilty in June to one count of Obtaining and Using the Personal Identification Information of Another.  She was sentenced in late October to a term of 12 years in prison, despite a defense argument for probation.  Carey was arrested in April after the Reno Police Department began investigating a case of identity theft.  During the investigation, detectives determined that a victim in the case had numerous pieces of identification stolen from her purse in September, 2016.  Carey was later identified as having used the victim’s information to open credit and checking accounts at several banks and businesses.  Carey had also attempted to cash stolen checks and make withdraws from the victim’s true bank account.  Detectives located Carey and following additional investigation she was arrested.

At sentencing, the prosecutor argued for a prison term due to the devastation Carey’s actions caused the victim, who is still trying to restore her credit, standard of living and good name.  Testimony presented at the sentencing hearing established the victim was forced to sell her daughter’s horse, an ATV and lost a beloved pet due to her credit card being declined for fraud activity resulting in an inability to pay for vet care.

The District Attorney’s Office would like to remind the community to take steps to prevent identity theft. Here are just a few.

  • Secure your social security numbers and do not carry them with you
  • Do not respond to unsolicited requests for personal information
  • Collect mail promptly and be aware of billing and financial statement cycles
  • Take advantage of security features for mobile devices, credit reports and online accounts
  • Shred sensitive information promptly
  • Review your credit report regularly 

For more information on how to protect yourself and how to report identity theft visit the Nevada Attorney General’s Website:


Call 311 to find resources, ask questions, and utilize Washoe County services. Learn More »
Call 311 to find resources, ask questions, and utilize Washoe County services. Learn More »