UPDATE: June 30, 2014 - According to Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple, further investigation has revealed that the unnamed person of interest in the Sheriff’s Department’s identity theft investigation was hired as a contractor by the funeral home to transport bodies at the request of the coroner. As a result of the investigation, the Sheriff has confirmed that none of the funeral home’s clients’ personal information was stolen from the funeral home. Find out more here.
ALBANY, N.Y. – Investigators say that an employee of a trusted Albany funeral home may now be tied to a case of identity theft in Albany.
Sheriff Craig Apple says there are dozens deceased persons whose social security numbers were allegedly used by nurse Suzette Guzman-Moore and her boyfriend Emmett Woods to apply for credit cards.
He also tells says the number of potential overall victims could be in the hundreds or even thousands.
Police say the discovery comes from paperwork and credit card applications found during a search of a home that traced backed to deceased victims. Investigators say the dead all had funerals at the same place -- Garland Brothers Funeral Home.
It’s a distinguished and well known Albany business, but police say the trustworthiness of one it’s employees is being tested.
The Albany County Sheriff says an unnamed employee is being questioned about his relationship with Emmitt Woods.
Woods and his girlfriend Suzette Guzman-Moore are charged with identity theft. Investigators say Guzman-Moore used her trusted position as a licensed practical nurse at Albany Medical Center to gather information on her patients, which they are accused of using to apply for hundred and perhaps thousands of credit cards.
The owner of Garland Brothers Funeral Home says he was shocked when he learned of the investigation.
“Just like you are investigating, I am investigating. And if I hear anything I will cooperate with the authorities 100 percent,” said Benjamin Garland.
Apple also says he has contacted the IRS to help anyone affected by the alleged identity theft. But he wants to make sure his investigation is complete first before talking with the government.
The sheriff's office continues to pour over data from laptops and smart phones seized from the suspects' apartment. Guzman-Moore and Woods are being held without bail at the Albany County Correction Facility.
If you have any information, or you feel you've had your identity stolen in this case, you are urged to contact the Albany County Sheriff's Department.
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