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Tempe nurse assistant stole patient identities to open bank accounts, lease apartments, police say

Sierra Johnson is accused of stealing the identities of several patients from rehab facilities she worked at throughout the Valley to bankroll a luxurious lifestyle.
Credit: fergregory - stock.adobe.com
Closed handcuffs on the street pavement at night with police car lights

TEMPE, Ariz. — A Tempe nurse assistant is accused of stealing the identities of her patients to lease apartments and purchase expensive vehicles. 

Sierra Johnson, 24, is facing several criminal charges after investigators connected her to several cases of fraud and identity theft throughout the Valley. 

Johnson worked at various rehabilitation facilities in Mesa, Goodyear, Phoenix, and Tempe -- where patients had been reporting the theft of their banking information and Social Security numbers. 

According to the Tempe Police Department, the stolen information was used to make expensive purchases, including $19,000 for a brand new car and $2,600 for multiple wigs. 

To buy the vehicle, a creditor asked for a photograph of the purchaser. Tempe police said the photo received appeared to be a picture of Johnson that had been manipulated to make her look older. 

Some patients had their identities used to sign lease agreements on rentals costing $1,700 in monthly rent or to buy up to $950 in new furniture. 

One of the victims, who is now deceased, had their identity used to buy a new cellphone. The victim's family contacted the number associated with the purchase and spoke with someone who identified themselves as "Sierra."

Investigators believe at least seven patients had their information stolen from Johnson within the last year. 

Police said Johnson's boyfriend may have been involved in the fraudulent schemes.

Public records show Johnson allegedly admitted to accessing and stealing the personal information of her former patients. 

Johnson was taken into custody on Wednesday and is facing charges of theft, fraud, forgery, and computer tampering. 

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