In Pittsfield court, sister denies charge of stealing sister’s identity
PITTSFIELD -- A woman who police say stole her sister’s identity and filed an insurance claim under her sibling’s name is free on $250 bail after pleading not guilty on Friday to seven charges.
Danielle Williams, 39, of Seattle, filed the claim in the wake of a July 2008 automobile accident in Latham, N.Y., while operating with a temporary Massachusetts drivers license, vehicle registration and insurance policy that insurance and Pittsfield police investigators determined had been acquired under her sister’s name. Her sister was living in Taiwan at the time, police said. Williams is originally from this area, according to her attorney.
The claim was denied by the insurance company, Travelers of Massachusetts Insurance Co., and criminal charges were filed in 2011. A warrant was issued after Williams failed to show up for her arraignment in June 2011.
She was arrested recently in Lawrence, days after returning to Massachusetts, where she still has family.
Williams, through her lawyer, Michelle Mechta, said she hadn’t been aware of the charges and had been living on the West Coast at the time the charges were filed.
Williams pleaded not guilty on Friday in Central Berkshire District Court to multiple counts of identity fraud, filing a false insurance claim and a single charge of attempt to commit a crime.
The Berkshire District Attorney’s Office asked that Williams be held on $1,000 bail. Judge Fredric D. Rutberg set bail at $250.
She is scheduled to be back in court on Oct. 25.
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