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Man pleads not guilty to I.D. theft

He allegedly stole from ex-girlfriend

Posted: September 23, 2008 8:06 p.m.
Updated: November 25, 2008 5:00 a.m.

William Schaeffler smiled at a group of family and friends before entering not-guilty pleas for all identity theft charges during his arraignment Tuesday in Santa Clarita Superior Court.

Los Angeles Police officers arrested Schaeffler on Aug. 29 when they responded to an unrelated domestic call. He is accused of stealing a former girlfriend’s identity to purchase thousands of dollars of merchandise at Santa Clarita Valley retailers in August. The victim requested her name be withheld for fear her identity would be stolen again.  

Schaeffler entered a not guilty plea on four felony counts; identity theft, commercial burglary, theft and grand theft.
The victim missed Schaeffler’s court appearance by a few minutes. She isn’t sure what to think about his plea.

“You would think with so much evidence and a public defender, he would look for a deal,” she said.

Schaeffler’s attorney is Thomas Tibor.

Jim Shepard, the victim’s father, isn’t surprised by the plea.

“He is going to take his chances that he can con the jury,” Shepard said.

Over a five-year period Schaeffler allegedly used the victim’s identity to open credit card accounts to fund his spending sprees. The victim won a civil judgment against Schaeffler in 2005 for $300,000. Schaeffler hasn’t paid any money, she said.

Schaeffler allegedly resumed pilfering the victim’s credit last spring, she said. He allegedly spent $4,000 on a video game console, electronics and clothes purchased in the Santa Clarita Valley, a sheriff’s report said.

Belinda received a new letter from a creditor before Tuesday’s proceeding.

“Someone inquired into my credit in August,” she said.

A second victim, the mother of Schaeffler’s daughter, said someone started inquiring into her credit in May. She also requested confidentiality. She is also looking into who used her credit to purchase a new Nissan in May without her knowledge, Jennifer said.

If the credit inquiries or the car purchase comes back to Schaeffler, more charges will be filed, said Detective Doug Nale of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s station. 

Schaeffler is due back in court Oct. 3 for a hearing to set the time of the preliminary hearing. The district attorney and Tibor will exchange all evidence compiled during discovery before the preliminary hearing. 


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