Woman arrested for impersonating dead mom

March 6, 2011 at 10:51 AM   |   Comments

FERNDALE, Wash., March 6 (UPI) -- A Washington state woman was arrested after allegedly dressing as her deceased mother so she could open a bank account, investigators said.

Investigators said 59-year-old Loewen B. Craft was wearing a gray wig and makeup to make her appear older when she arrived at the Industrial Credit Union branch in Ferndale, Wash., allegedly to open an account in her deceased mother's name, The Bellingham (Wash.) Herald reported.

She was booked into the Whatcom County Jail on suspicion of first-degree identity theft, criminal impersonation and several counts of forgery, Sheriff Bill Elfo said.

Craft's mother, Betty Becker, died in 2007. Elfo said Craft collected more than $145,000 in benefits from her mother's Chevron Oil pension fund.

Craft allegedly obtained a false identity in her mother's name before her mother died.

Investigators caught on to the alleged scheme while investigating an unrelated arson case, the newspaper said. A detective discovered that Becker had died and notified Chevron officials of the alleged fraud.

Chevron froze Craft's accounts, allegedly leading her to attempt to open a new account at ICU.

ICU employees aided in Craft's arrest by asking her to come to the branch to complete additional paperwork. Officers were waiting for her and took her into custody Wednesday.

She was in the Whatcom County Jail in lieu of $25,000 bond.

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