Genoa woman gets prison for ID theft

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A Genoa Township woman who wanted to withdraw her guilty plea to a felony identity-theft charge was sentenced Thursday to prison.

Renee Bullock defiantly told the judge she takes “full responsibility” for having counterfeit prescription forms, but she is innocent of stealing someone’s identity — an allegation that came when authorities found a notary stamp in her car that belonged to someone else and a list of dozens of names, addresses, Social Security numbers as well as other personal information, including doctor’s names and their Drug Enforcement Administration prescription numbers.

“I didn’t steal their identities, and I had no intent to do so,” she said, referencing the list, which included the names of her dead cousin, an ex-boyfriend and other friends.

Livingston County Circuit Judge Michael P. Hatty appeared unmoved as he sentenced Bullock to two years to seven-and-a-half years in prison for obtaining and/or possessing another person’s identity with the intent of committing identity theft and for having a counterfeit prescription form. He also ordered her to serve 93 days in the county jail for driving on a suspended license in September.

Bullock’s attorney, Beverly Safford, initially asked Hatty to allow Bullock to withdraw her plea to identity theft because her previous attorney, who negotiated the plea deal, was ineffective and Bullock did “not know all of her defenses.” She said the previous attorney refused to file a motion as instructed; failed to show Bullock the evidence against her; and failed to show her a witness list, which included the names of dead people.

Among the names, Bullock said, are her son’s father and she needs his Social Security number for “various reasons” involving her son as well as a friend she applied for a mortgage for, her mother, stepfather and others. Also on the list is the name Teyana Taylor, an American recording artist and actress that Bullock said “my son jotted down” because he likes Taylor.

“This is totally not the way the criminal justice system was intended to be working,” Safford said. “The attorney told her she had to go to trial in a couple days if she didn’t plead guilty on the charge. … Renee has consistently alleged innocence right up to the guilty plea.”

Assistant Prosecutor Betsy Geyer Sedore told the judge that the defense has not produced proof there was a defect in the plea.

“The problem is she’s having buyer’s remorse; that’s what the problem is,” Sedore said.

“This is well beyond buyer’s remorse,” Safford countered. “… There has never, ever, ever been a complaint from any of those people (on the list) that anything has ever, ever, ever been done wrong using their name or information.”

Bullock, who pleaded guilty as a habitual offender, has a prior conviction in Wayne County for embezzling from a vulnerable adult.

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