Apple Valley woman charged with identity theft

An Apple Valley woman who was employed as a temp at a financial marketing company is accused of stealing a client’s credit card information to make a payment on her car loan.

Rhonda M. Mitchell, 39, has been charged in Dakota County District Court with identity theft and credit card fraud, both felonies.

According to the criminal complaint, Mitchell worked in December 2011 as a collections representative at a financial marketing company in Eagan, and on Dec. 21 took a credit card payment over the phone from a man living outside Minnesota during which she was given his credit card number, expiration date and security code.

On Jan. 6, the man’s credit card was used to make a $905.50 car loan payment through Security Auto Loan in New Hope, Minn.

Security Auto Loan confirmed with police the car loan payment was made by Mitchell.

Under questioning, Mitchell admitted she was a couple of months behind in her car loan payments, but denied using the victim’s credit card information, claiming instead that the $905.50 payment was made by a friend, the complaint said.

Mitchell was unable to provide investigators with a last name or address for the friend, according to the complaint, and though she persisted in denying that she used the victim’s credit card, she agreed to make restitution.

If convicted of both charges, Mitchell faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and $20,000 in fines.