Durham County worker stole $18,000 from coworkers’ retirement accounts, sheriff says

A former Durham County Social Services employee was arrested and charged Friday in an alleged fraud scheme to take money from her colleagues’ retirement accounts.

Tiffany Diane Blake, 40, is accused of posing as nine different employees on 16 different occasions to transfer over $18,000 from 401k accounts to herself, the Durham County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.

One of the accounts was that of a dead person, the release stated.

Investigators say Blake allegedly used her position in the Department of Social Services to access the accounts of her colleagues.

The company administering the employee accounts, Empower, flagged the fraudulent money transfers and launched an investigation, according to a news release.

“During the criminal investigation, the detective on the case was able to positively identify Tiffany Blake as the suspect, tracking the payments to her personal accounts and to additional accounts she opened for the purpose of the fraud,” the release stated.

Blake was charged with:

Nine counts of identity theft.

Nine counts of accessing computers.

Eight counts of forgery of instruments.

Six counts of obtaining property under false pretense.

Blake posted a $20,000 secured bond Friday.