Former North Texas tax preparer allegedly stole identities from customers

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A traffic stop for expired registration led to the discovery of alleged identity theft scheme carried out by a former Jackson Hewitt tax preparer.

A search of the car by police in Blue Mound, just north of Fort Worth, revealed the passenger had multiple driver's licenses.

Police say they have been able to find eight victims of the identity theft scheme so far, but they are concerned there could be thousands. As a tax preparer, Shelby Sanders had access to thousands of driver's license and social security numbers across nine North Texas Jackson Hewitt locations.

Sanders was arrested initially for a fraud warrant out of Collin County. When police searched the car that she and driver David Smith were in, police said they found clear evidence of the identity theft scheme -- multiple driver's licenses and credit cards to match.

When police contacted one of the victims, she was confused how the suspect had a copy of her license because she had never lost hers.

The scheme exposes a weakness with the Texas Department of Public Safety. The former tax preparer was able to order replacement driver's licenses for at least eight people police know of so far. She had those licenses shipped to addresses of her choosing.

“I get a message on Facebook with just my ID. I was like where did I leave my ID. Look in my purse my ID was there,” said Stephanie Reed. “He says this Is Officer Steel, did you let her use your license? No!”

Blue Mound police say sanders worked at Jackson Hewitt at the Super Walmart on Redbud Blvd. in McKinney, during the last tax season, from December 2017 - April 2018.

FOX4 reached out to Jackson Hewitt to ask how they are notifying potential victims and to see what, if anything, they are doing to improve security. They did not respond.

Police say if people have suspicious activity on their credit accounts and have had taxes done by the company, they should contact their local police department.