Annie Ford, 51, of Atlanta admitted to stealing the identity of a former New Jersey-based ballplayer in 2013 to secure a $2.5 million loan — a federal crime. She subsequently pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft, according to the US Attorney Craig Carpenito’s office in a statement Friday.
The basketball player, referred to as “victim 1” in court documents, was not named in the indictment, CNN reports. However, he was described as “a resident of New Jersey and a professional basketball player for a team in the National Basketball Association.”
In 2013, Ford assumed the NBA player’s identity and signed his name on documents, essentially forging his signature on a loan application. She also established an escrow account for the $2.5 million loan, the US attorney’s office said.
Ford is also accused of enlisting another person to act like the NBA player on a call with the bank that lent out the funds., according to the indictment.
By November 2018, Ford was indicted by a federal grand jury with wire fraud and aggravated identity theft charges. Now, she has admitted her guilt and awaiting the courts to decide how she will spend the rest of her life.
Ford is looking at a possible maximum of 20 years in prison and a potential $250,000 fine on the wire fraud charge, the US attorney’s office said. She may see some leniency as judges tend to be more understanding towards defendants who admit guilt. She is also accused of an aggravated identity theft charge, which by itself, carries a mandatory two-year prison sentence in addition to the possible 20 years.
Neither Ford’s attornies or the NBA have issued official statements. However, her next hearing on the matter is on March 4, 2020.