Your information is safe from a convicted identity thief thanks to a Local 2 investigation.
LaKeshia Cherry pleaded guilty earlier this year to stealing another woman's Social Security number and using it to open an electricity account at her own home. Her victim, Andrea Cherry, didn't discover the theft until the power company came after her for hundreds of dollars in unpaid bills.
When LaKeshia Cherry pleaded guilty and was sentenced to two years probation in June, Andrea Cherry was still trying to clean up her credit from the fraud.
"It's a little disappointing," Andrea Cherry told Local 2 Consumer Expert Amy Davis in June.
She was disappointed because nothing in the terms of LaKeshia Cherry's probation would have prevented her from committing the same crime, even though she had a history of identity theft and a string of jobs in the energy industry -- at CenterPoint, Gexa, Startex Power and Mega Energy.
"People do what they know," said Andrea Cherry.
Davis told prosecutors at the Harris County District Attorney's Office about the victim's concerns. Prosecutors then asked the judge to include a condition to LaKeshia Cherry's probation terms, adding she cannot "obtain employment where she will have direct contact or access to anybody's identifying information unless approved by the court."
"We definitely do not want her to have a job where she would have access to sensitive information where she could victimize somebody else while she's on probation," said Camille Hepola, with the Harris County District Attorney's Office.
The judge approved the added requirement. LaKeshia Cherry is on probation until June 2016.