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Woman gets year in identify theft

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A Spotsylvania County woman will spend one year in prison for three counts of identity theft.

Amber Nichole Dahmen, 29, was sentenced last week in Spotsylvania Circuit Court to nine years in prison with all but one year suspended.

She was arrested in December after police followed a paper trail that led back to her.

The investigation started when three women reported that they believed bogus credit cards and bank accounts had been opened in their names, said Spotsylvania Commonwealth’s Attorney Bill Neely.

Detective Joe Cagnina was able to identify a suspect from a surveillance video after one of the fraudulent cards was used at a local Japanese steakhouse, Neely said.

Cagnina also discovered that Dahmen had opened up a post office box to receive stolen goods.

A search warrant was issued at her home in November and police found a laptop and a safe hidden in her closet that contained credit cards, bank account information and stolen mail belonging to at least 20 people.

Dahmen admitted that the laptop and safe belonged to her, but denied that any of the fraudulent information was hers, Neely said.

She said anyone who had access to her home could have put the cards in her safe—possibly blaming it on her own mother, who is a convicted felon, or her boyfriend.

Dahmen was convicted in 2011 on an embezzlement charge at a Wells Fargo Bank in Fredericksburg where she worked.

She was sentenced to three years with all but three months suspended in that case.

All of the victims in the Spotsylvania identity theft case had banked with Wells Fargo, Neely said.

Portsia Smith: 540/374-5419