Parking Ticket Schemer Pleads Guilty

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    A "Denver Boot" wheel lock is seen attached to a car in a parking lot August 1, 2002 at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. Scofflaws with three unpaid parking tickets would be eligible for the boot under an ordinance passed July 31 by the Chicago City Council. Also, Chicago's 500 "most wanted" parking ticket scofflaws - those owing from $7,000 to $42,000 - will be hit with lawsuits while amnesty is extended to those who owe $5,000 or less, under a compromise disclosed today. Chicago Mayor Richard Daley originally proposed permitting people with nine or fewer tickets issued before January 1, 2000, to pay them off at face value, without penalties, but under pressure from aldermen, he backed the measure that permits scofflaws with up to $5,000 worth of pre-2000 tickets to pay at face value.

    A woman that was part of a ring that used stolen credit cards to pay parking tickets has plead guilty.

    Trina Hailstorks, 44, of Washington, D.C., admitted to one count of first degree theft in U.S. District Court Tuesday.

    Hailstorks was part of a larger criminal syndicate that was stealing identity information starting in 2005.  The group used the stolen ID's to obtain credit cards, which they used to purchase merchandise and services.

    The fraudulent credit cards were also used in a parking ticket scheme.  The criminal group would offer to pay off outstanding parking tickets for discounted rates.  Hailstorks served as a "conduit" between the identity theft ring and the parking ticket customers.  Together with a co-conspirator, Hailstorks paid off $13,550 in parking tickets for at least 15 individuals.

    But for those who purchased Hailstorks' services, the discounts didn't last long.  The Department of Motor Vehicles discovered the fraudulent payments, refunded the money to the credit card companies, and reinstated the parking tickets.

    Hailstorks is one of seven who have pled guilty in connection with the credit card scheme.  For her role, she faces up to 10 years in jail, but according to the U.S. Attorney's office, she will likely serve six months.