Feelings get hurt when romantic relationships end; a little bit of drama is practically inevitable. Some people are better at avoiding drama at the end of relationships than others, though, and some people are really bad at it. Take Tracy Rankin, of Fargo N.D. for instance. She falls into the category of people who are really bad at it.
The former day care operator used two stolen identities to take out at least seven credit cards and run up a tab of more than $76,000.
One of the stolen identities was that of her former boyfriend, Arlen Tenold.
Rankin made an appearance in federal court today, and pleaded not guilty to five counts of mail fraud and two counts of identity theft.
Arlen Tenold was there too. He says the debt Rankin is accused of accumulating in his name has been financially devastating, and that that he nearly lost his house because of it.
It’s not uncommon for victims of identity theft to know the people who steal their identities. Tenold probably gave Rankin plenty of opportunities to gather the information she needed. Mail left lying casually around, openly sharing information like Social Security numbers, wallets left on the dresser, personal documents left in unlocked desk drawers—people make it easy for criminals to steal their identities.
Rankin will go to trial in May and her future will be determined then. If convicted, she could face as much as 20 years in prison and $250,000 in fines.
Tenold’s future probably holds a long string of girlfriends who just can’t get past his paranoia and financial problems.