Ida Mae James, 35, real estate agent, property manager and real estate broker, Shakopee, Minnesota, has been accused of stealing $3 million from her clients by stealing their identities. A complaint charging 15 felony counts of identity theft is in the process of being filed according to the Hennepin, Minnesota County Attorney’s Office.
News reports state that many of James’ victims lived in North Minneapolis, Minnesota, and she met them at the church where her father-in-law is the bishop. She would befriend her victims, get their identities, and then purchase properties that they didn’t know about. In one case she purchased a piece of investment property for her client, promising to pay the rents and make the mortgage payments. The rents were collected by James, but the payments were never made.
News reports also state that James also used the names Ida Me Bywaters and Ida Mae Johnson, in some cases she spelled Ida ‘Aida’.
James is not in custody, and will retain her real estate license unless she is convicted of a crime. Each count of identity theft carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison or a $100,000 fine.