A Georgia woman was convicted today in a case involving more than $2.5 million stolen from a Florida woman by taking out two mortgages on the woman’s house, the Florida Attorney General’s Office said.

Eva Patrick Verner, also known as Eva Buchowski, was convicted by an Orlando, Fla., jury on charges that she used another person’s identity to steal more than $2.5 million from that individual and financial institutions, Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist’s office said.

Verner faces up to 60 years in prison following the conviction, the office said.

Verner, 67, obtained a Florida driver’s license with her photograph but under the name of a Kissimmee woman, the office said. Working with various lenders in southeast and southwest Florida, Verner used the bogus driver’s license and other fraudulent documents to obtain two mortgages on the victim’s property in amounts of $350,000 and $2.3 million, the office said.

Verner had large portions of the money wired to an account in the Cayman Islands that had been opened in the victim’s name, according to the attorney general’s office. Verner then transferred the funds from the fraudulent account to her own account and tried to use the proceeds to buy other properties, the office said.

Verner’s scheme was uncovered by a joint investigation by the Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, the attorney general said.

“This is a staggering tale of fraud and identity theft,” said Crist in a statement.

“Fortunately, Florida has a new identity theft law that provides stiff penalties for such egregious criminal activity. Nothing is more precious than a person’s good name, and we will continue the fight to protect Floridians from those who would steal it,” Crist said.

Verner was convicted on two counts of criminal use of personal identification information, the attorney general said. She will be sentenced on Nov. 3 and faces a minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum sentence of 60 years, as well as possible fines up to $20,000, according to the office.

The case was prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution, which has worked with the Kissimmee victim in an attempt to help her restore her credit rating, the office said.

***

Send tips or a Letter to the Editor to janis@inman.com or call (510) 658-9252, ext. 140.

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