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Emily Gurnon, St. Paul Pioneer Press, Published January 22 2014

Former Minnesota state worker convicted of identity theft

ST. PAUL – Roxanne K. DeFlorin, a former state staffer found with hundreds of public employees’ personal information in her home, was convicted Wednesday of identity theft by a Ramsey County jury.

Representing herself at trial, DeFlorin, 50, argued that her three co-defendants were the guilty parties and that she knew nothing of their crimes.

“I’m guilty of doing meth; I’m guilty of taking work home; I’m guilty of not searching my closet well enough,” she told the jury a day earlier. “That’s all I’m guilty of.”

She showed no emotion on the reading of the verdicts Wednesday morning but asked the judge what she should do if she wants to appeal.

Judge Teresa Warner told her she must wait until after her sentencing, scheduled for March 14.

DeFlorin, of St. Paul, was acquitted on two charges of possessing a short-barreled shotgun. She had said at her closing argument Tuesday that she did not know the two guns were in an upstairs closet of her home.

DeFlorin faces a minimum of three years and five months in prison. The prosecution will argue today before Judge Patrick Diamond, who presided over the case, that two “aggravating factors” justify doubling that sentence.

Diamond would have to answer two questions: Did DeFlorin use her position at the state Department of Labor and Industry to obtain some of the identities; and how many identities did she illegally possess, transfer or use?

DeFlorin worked for the state for 10 years, until 2004.

Prosecutor John Ristad told the jury that evidence in the case pointed to DeFlorin as the center of an operation that involved three other women and hundreds of stolen identities. DeFlorin obtained names and Social Security numbers from a Public Employees Retirement Association of Minnesota, or PERA, database and a list from the Department of Labor and Industry.

Co-defendant Kristin Renee Warren, 40, used stolen identities to buy things locally and over the Internet.

Andrea Leigh Gunderson, 30, and Shauntell Rose Burg, 32, purchased and picked up items bought with stolen identities, then pawned many of the items. The crimes occurred in the summer of 2012.

Gunderson was sentenced in December to 6.5 years in prison. Warren is to be sentenced Tuesday, Burg on Jan. 30. Both will receive prison sentences, the prosecutor said.

The Pioneer Press is a media partner with Forum News Service.