Woman could face federal charges in fraud cases
Posted January 13, 2009 4:06 p.m. EST
Updated March 9, 2009 5:12 p.m. EDT
Goldsboro, N.C. — A Goldsboro woman accused of telling others she has brain cancer so she could gain financially could now face federal charges for other suspected crimes.
Tarboro police say it appears Stacie Harrell Pittman, 31, used someone else's Social Security number to get auto and personal loans from Telco Credit Union.
The investigation began with complaints from Pittman's mother that her daughter had stolen her identity and that of her late husband to set up a satellite TV account, as well as other accounts.
"The satellite TV theft that she did with her mom has kind of snowballed into something bigger,” Tarboro police Lt. Keith Hale said.
"Initially, on the surface, it looks like it may deal with a large amount of money, and if so, then we'll try to pursue it on a federal level," Hale explained.
No charges have been filed in the case, but they are pending, Hale said.
"My family was in the dark," said Pittman's mother, Joanna Harrell. "It shocked us to death. We had no idea all of this was going on."
Wayne County deputies arrested Pittman, of 117-B2 Fallin Blvd., Goldsboro, on two different occasions last week on a number of charges, including obtaining property by false pretenses.
She was in the Wayne County jail under a $25,000 bond Tuesday afternoon.
In one case, Pittman – who authorities say also goes by Stacie Harrell, Stacie Palmer and Stacie Kroll – is accused of taking more than $16,000 from her neighbor after telling him she was dying of brain cancer and needed the money for treatment.
She was arrested last Wednesday on three counts of obtaining property by false pretense in that cases.
Authorities say Pittman also targeted several Wayne County banks and businesses, which led to her arrest on Friday on four counts of obtaining property by false pretense and three counts of attempting to obtain property by false pretense.
In addition to current charges in Wayne County and pending charges in Edgecombe County, investigators say Pittman has a history of fraud charges in Edgecombe, Pitt, Onslow, Craven and Carteret counties.
Court records show she is also fighting her ex-husband for custody of their two young boys.
Despite her claims, letters from her doctor state Pittman does not need surgery and should be able to appear for a custody hearing scheduled for next week.