KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tom Larson, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Kansas City, Mo., woman was sentenced in federal court today for using stolen Social Security numbers in a scheme to defraud a series of landlords.
Twyla Lashelle Adair, 41, of Kansas City, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Beth Phillips to four years and six months in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered Adair to pay $18,497 in restitution.
On April 13, 2017, Adair pleaded guilty to three counts of misuse of a Social Security number and one count of aggravated identity theft.
According to court documents, Adair used the Social Security numbers of four different persons over a period of four years (beginning in 2012) to apply for apartments where she would live for close to a year, abandon the apartment with large amounts of rent unpaid, then move into another apartment using another Social Security number to repeat the process all over again. Adair perpetrated a fraud on multiple landlords by falsely representing that she was a nurse and by providing forged pay stubs showing she had received income from employment as a nurse. She made this misrepresentation not only to convince the landlords that she had income to pay rent, but also to convince the landlords that because she was a nurse she would be a responsible tenant.
Numerous letters from charitable organizations indicate they assisted Adair in paying her rent. One apartment manager, for example, had letters on file from four churches and charitable organizations that gave Adair a total of $849. Adair also falsely claimed on her Facebook page (under the name Twyla Hicks) that she had cancer and got the eviction judge to feel sorry for her and to find agencies to help pay her rent.
Court documents describe Adair as a prolific writer of counterfeit and fraudulent checks. She used the names and identities of other people, along with fraudulent and false names, to open credit accounts that were never paid and to pay for goods and services with worthless checks. With no history of legitimate employment, Adair made her living through identity theft and defrauding others, including churches.
This case was prosecuted by Deputy U.S. Attorney Gene Porter. It was investigated by the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department.
Department of Justice
Office of the U.S. Attorney
Western District of Missouri