Public Safety

Police: Iowa City woman used dead woman's identity to make purchases

Debra Gustafson
Debra Gustafson

CORALVILLE — An Iowa City woman is accused of using a dead woman’s information to open accounts at retailers and make thousands of dollars in purchases.

In August 2016, a man received notices from Target, Kohl’s, Best Buy, Younkers and AT&T about accounts or lines of credit that had been opened with his deceased wife’s name and personal information, according to a Coralville police criminal complaint.

Information showed transactions totaling $3,879.77 at Younkers, $1,859.96 at Best Buy and $996.67 at Kohl’s.

The man told police that Debra M. Gustafson, now 60, of Iowa City, had stayed at his home for about 10 days in July 2016. Police said video footage from Younkers and Best Buy showed Gustafson buying items using the accounts she had opened under the dead woman’s identity.

Gustafson was arrested this week and faces one count of second-degree theft, a Class D felony punishable by up to five years in prison.

• Comments: (319) 339-3155; lee.hermiston@thegazette.com

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