Police: North Texas tax preparer could have stolen thousands of identities

For the first time since a one-time Jackson Hewitt tax preparer was arrested for stealing customer identities, FOX 4 is hearing from the company. 

A spokesperson for Jackson Hewitt said in a statement that they recently became aware that a franchise employee at a location in McKinney "may have obtained and misused certain customer information.”

The spokesperson said they immediately launched their own investigation and are cooperating with law enforcement.

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When 29-year-old Shelby Sanders was arrested by Blue Mound police for an outstanding warrant, police say they discovered much more. They found she had three different IDs of three different people and credit cards.

Police say they know of eight victims whose IDs were used to make driver's licenses, credit cards and social security cards.

Stephanie Reed is one of those victims. She had her 2017 taxes prepared at the Jackson Hewitt in McKinney on North Custer Road. Police say Sanders worked at a different location on Redbud Boulevard.

Jackson Hewitt told FOX 4: "This misconduct appears limited to the McKinney, Texas, area. At this point, there is no indication that locations outside of the McKinney, Texas, area were affected."

Police say Sanders also told them she used her home computer to access personal information of customers at nine Jackson Hewitt locations during the tax season from December 2017 until April 2018.

Jackson Hewitt has not said specifically where those offices are located. They told FOX 4: “As soon as our investigation is sufficiently complete, we will begin notifying potentially affected individuals and providing credit monitoring services."

In addition to the outstanding warrant, police say Sanders had a theft case from August 2017 that led to eight days in jail.

Jackson Hewitt told FOX 4 that it does require criminal background checks of all its corporate and franchise employees, but it is unclear what, if anything, they discovered about Sanders.

Reed says she has now spent countless hours on the phone trying to sort everything out.

“Get ahold of American Express. They tell me she's been using my card at Walmart, Walgreens, and Public Data.com and she had just bought a driver's license on January 28,” Reed said. “So someone else's license is out there.”

Police say there could be hundreds or thousands of victims. They are urging people who had their taxes prepared at a Jackson Hewitt location to check their credit and report fraud to police.