BLUE MOUND, Texas — A former tax preparer for Jackson Hewitt is behind bars in the Tarrant County Jail after police in Blue Mound say they found multiple licenses and credit cards connected to other people during a traffic stop.
Shelby Sanders, 29, now faces one charge of fraudulent use or possession of identification information.
On Monday, police in Blue Mound pulled over David Smith. Sanders was in the car with Smith, and both were arrested on outstanding warrants.
Investigators with Blue Mound say Smith was wanted for a parole violation, and Sanders was wanted for fraud by Benbrook police.
While both were in custody, Officer Dusty Steele began to search their vehicle.
During that search, he found multiple licenses and credit cards that didn't belong to Sanders.
When Steele was able to question Sanders back at the station, he said she told him that she used to be a tax preparer for Jackson Hewitt last year.
Sanders worked at a Jackson Hewitt inside the Walmart Supercenter off of Redbud in McKinney from December 2017 to April 2018, the department said.
Steele also added that Sanders told him she printed out vital personal information belonging to as many as 30 customers, and copies of their driver's licenses too.
Using all of that information, Steele said Sanders told him that she requested copies of new driver's licenses for at least eight victims from the Department of Public Safety, and opened up credit cards as well as bank accounts in their names.
Steele also said that Sanders told him she chose customers that resembled her.
"If we hadn't pulled her over, she could have kept doing this for who knows how long," Steele said.
One of those victims is Stephanie Reed from McKinney. Reed told WFAA that she's had her taxes prepared by Jackson Hewitt the past several years. "Never had a problem with them," Reed said. "I thought they could be trusted."
Only recently did she learn that someone had opened up a bank account in her name, and a prepaid credit card too. She also added that she was alerted that someone had opened up a credit card in the name of her husband.
It all made sense when Steele called her and asked if she gave Sanders permission to have her license. "Unspinning this web just makes me angry," Reed said. "My social security number, bank numbers, routing numbers. She had everything, everything so valuable to me and my family."
Reed has since called DPS to let them know about what happened. She also has called the bank where a fraudulent account was opened in her name to let them know it's a fake.
She also notified Jackson Hewitt too. The tax preparation service didn't respond to WFAA when it reached out for a comment.
Steele told WFAA that a manager at Jackson Hewitt told him that Sanders had access to tax information belonging to nine other branches.
He said that more victims may be out there and said that the ones he's identified so far are located across the metroplex.