Birmingham woman convicted for identity theft

MONTGOMERY, AL (WBRC) - A Birmingham woman has been convicted for stealing a credit card and trafficking stolen identities.

Attorney General Troy King, in a statement Tuesday to FOX6 News, said Tiffany Lidge pleaded guilty Monday to all charges brought against her in a 15-count indictment. King said Lidge was charged with identity theft involving four victims.

"This case demonstrates how vulnerable consumers are to criminals who abuse positions of trust," said Attorney General King. "Our message, loud and clear, is that such criminals will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and will be held to account for their illegal actions."

At the time of Lidge's plea, the Attorney General's Office stated in court the following information regarding her crimes:

Lidge was a checkout representative at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Ophthalmology Service Foundation. She was responsible for checking out patients and performing clerical duties related to the collection, deposit and recording of clinic revenue. Two of the identity theft victims were patients who paid their co-pay fee with a credit card. The credit cards were given to Lidge. A third victim gave her credit card information over the telephone to make payment. When the credit cards were presented to Lidge to pay the co-pays, Lidge wrote the victims' name, address and credit card numbers on a piece of paper. She later used the card numbers to obtain goods and services. Lidge was terminated from UAB Ophthalmology Service Foundation.

Thereafter, Lidge went to work at Pedorthic Care Orthotic & Prosthetic Center in Hoover. The fourth victim was seen at the Pedorthic Center and paid the co-pay by credit card. Lidge obtained the credit card number and used it to purchase goods.

King said his agents searched of Lidge's Fairfield residence and seized pieces of paper with the names of seven individuals along with their addresses and credit card numbers which led to the trafficking in stolen identities charge.  On March 25, 2009, the Attorney General's Office presented evidence to a grand jury in the Bessemer Division of Jefferson County Circuit Court, resulting in Lidge's indictment.

King said additional charges are pending against Lidge regarding other alleged crimes during her employment at UAB Ophthalmology.  She is charged with one count of identity theft and three counts of fraudulent use of a credit card. The case is pending arraignment in Madison County Circuit Court.

Lidge is scheduled to be sentenced January 7, 2010.  She could face up to 20 years in prison.