INDIANAPOLIS - An Indianapolis notary public who helped families to refinance their homes has been charged with stealing her customers’ social security numbers and selling them to a potential identity thief.
Federal agents with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service have accused Melissa A. Hodge of taking social security numbers that were entrusted to her through refinancing transactions and then selling those numbers for $20 each to a friend, who could potentially use them to steal the victims’ identities.
According to records from the Indiana Secretary of State, Hodge became a notary public in November 2010.
Court records show agents found her working with Chase Bank to help at least two customers in refinancing their home, but then taking her customers’ social security numbers and selling them to an acquaintance.
She now faces a federal misdemeanor count of stealing social security information.
She has not been arrested, but she is scheduled to face a federal judge in the coming weeks. She has filed paperwork that she intends to plead guilty to the charges.
Her latest notary public registration shows her license for notary work to expire in 2018, but it could be revoked because of the criminal case against her.
She listed her business address in the 400 block of South Arlington Avenue in Indianapolis, but court records did not reflect where she handled the transactions with her victims.
Her plea agreement does not spell out a potential sentence, but she could be eligible for probation after she formally admits to her crimes in federal court.