BRATTLEBORO -- A 38-year-old Brattleboro woman faces up to 12 years behind bars after being charged with identity theft.
On Tuesday, Tanya L. Maskell pleaded not guilty to one count of felony false personation and one misdemeanor count of fraudulent communication systems.
According to the affidavit, Maskell opened an account with Comcast to receive Internet, phone and television, using someone else’s name and information.
The victim contacted Brattleboro police on July 11, after she discovered Maskell had used her name to open the account.
Maskell told police "It was just a misunderstanding" and that she would resolve the problem by closing the account the next day.
About two weeks later however, the victim received a bill for $187.83 from the account Maskell had allegedly opened using her information.
When contacted by police, Maskell said she closed the account when she was instructed to and the bill must have been from equipment she hadn’t returned. She said because she doesn’t have a car, she was unable to return the equipment.
On Aug. 23, a second bill from Comcast arrived, this time for the $556.28.
After meeting with Brattleboro Police Officer Carl Warner a second time, Maskell claimed she opened the account with the victim’s permission, but closed it immediately after her first meeting with Warner.
If convicted, Maskell is facing up to a decade in prison for the false personation charge and possibly an additional two years for defrauding a telecommunications company. She could also be forced to pay up to $2,500 in fines.