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Chicago woman charged with fraud in death certificate scheme

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Stealing Money

CHICAGO (AP) - A Chicago woman has been charged with taking advantage of the pandemic and the city's surging homicide count to defraud the government out of thousands of dollars in tax refunds and coronavirus stimulus payments.

Katrina Pierce faces federal charges of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft, according to a criminal complaint made public Thursday.

A judge ordered Pierce, who was sent to prison for a similar scheme nine years ago, to remain locked up pending trial.

Her next hearing is scheduled for Tuesday.

According to prosecutors, Pierce obtained the death certificates of dozens of young homicide victims and used them to collect thousands of dollars in payments.