A convicted felon who stole mail belonging to dozens of people in Riverside, Los Angeles and San Diego counties as part of an identity theft scheme was sentenced Tuesday to 18 months in jail.
Laura Leigh Maynard, 48, of Hemet pleaded guilty last month to three counts of ID theft under a plea agreement with the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office. In exchange for her admissions, prosecutors dropped two related charges.
Along with the jail term, Superior Court Judge Mark Johnson imposed 18 months’ mandatory supervision on Maynard after she is released from the Smith Correctional Facility in Banning.
Her co-defendant, 25-year-old Laurence Lennon Bealer of Hemet, pleaded guilty in July to grand theft and was sentenced to two years in jail. He’s also serving his time at the Smith jail.
According to Hemet police Sgt. Bob Nishida, Bealer and Maynard were stopped for a traffic violation Jan. 29 in the 100 block of Girard Street.
After patrol officers confirmed that Bealer was on probation, they searched the vehicle and uncovered “a large quantity of mail belonging to numerous people,” Nishida said.
The mail contained credit cards, bank checks and other personal documents that the sergeant said could be used to perpetrate identity theft.
A driver’s license was also seized that investigators ultimately determined belonged to a man robbed in November 2018, according to Nishida.
“During the investigation, it was learned that Maynard had attempted to cash at least two checks using the robbery victim’s identity,” he said.
Detectives estimated there were about 150 victims whose mail had been stolen throughout the region, according to Nishida.
Court records show that Maynard has prior convictions for fraud, grand theft, receiving stolen property, burglary and identity theft. She has served time in state prison.
Bealer had priors for identity theft, auto theft and petty theft.
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