A Marion man charged in 2015 with over 40 counts of identity theft was sentenced last month in McDowell County Superior Court.

Kenneth Eugene Hamilton, 51, of Ashworth Road, Marion, was found guilty of 45 counts of identity theft. He was sentenced to 15 to 27 months in prison. He was given credit for 192 days time served. He must pay $20,000 restitution to the victim. He must pay a court-appointed attorney $4,320. He must pay court costs.

Additionally, Hamilton received 19 back-to-back suspended sentences of 12 to 24 months and 60 months of supervised probation, with each sentence and probation to run consecutive to one another.

In Sept. 2015, 80-year-old Wilma Jean Carson filed a report with the Marion Police Department claiming that money had been taken from her bank account. According to Sgt. Detective Rick Gutierrez, an investigation determined that Hamilton, the husband to Carson’s niece, had used her debit card multiple times at different locations within that past year.

“The victim would take Hamilton to work at Carolina Auto Sales where he washed cars,” said Gutierrez at the time of the arrest. “She would also stay and help him at work. He would ask to borrow her car to run errands and would use her debit card at multiple ATMs.”

The incidents reportedly began in Sept. 2014. Although an exact amount of stolen money was not released publicly, police confirmed that it was in the thousands.

Hamilton was held under a $250,000 bond and was indicted in May 2016.

According to N.C. Department of Public Safety records, Hamilton has a criminal record dating back to 1988, including convictions in McDowell and Rutherford counties on drug and conspiracy charges.

Get today’s top stories right in your inbox. Sign up for our daily newsletter.