BUCKHANNON – A Michigan man was arrested last week after he and two other men allegedly utilized a fraudulent credit card scam to purchase prepaid bank cards.
Dezmond M. Williams, 18, of Flint, Michigan, was arrested Thursday, Aug. 6 on three felony charges – fraudulent schemes, fraudulent use of access device and conspiracy to commit felony. Williams had been wanted on an outstanding warrant, according to local law enforcement.
According to the criminal complaint in the Upshur County Magistrate Clerk’s Office filed by investigating officer Sgt. Darin Hissam of the Buckhannon Police Department, on Aug. 6, Hissam was dispatched to the Buckhannon Walmart in reference to a fraudulent scam that recently occurred.
Walmart’s Asset Protection Department reportedly told Hissam that three males entered the store and allegedly purchased prepaid bank cards using some type of fraudulent credit card scam. Williams allegedly purchased four prepaid cards and had the cashier load $500 on each card for a total of $2,000.
According to the file, he allegedly utilized some type of fraudulent card payment method that resulted in the money being loaded onto the prepaid card, while also not being deducted from the fraudulent card he allegedly utilized to facilitate the transaction.
Another male, who was not arrested at the time, allegedly utilized the same fraudulent method to purchase and load two additional prepaid cards with $500 each, as well as getting $100 cash back, with a total of $1,100 obtained; the money was also not deducted from the cards used to facilitate those transactions.
The third person, who was not named in the report, allegedly utilized the same fraudulent method to purchase and load two prepaid cards with $500 each, as well as getting $100 cash back with a total of $1,100 obtained without being charged.
According to the report, the three males allegedly conspired together and came through the same register, one behind the other, for their transactions. After completing their transactions, they all returned to the parking lot and left together in a black 2014 Kia Optima Sedan. Local Walmart security were alerted earlier by another nearby Walmart store, in which the three individuals allegedly conducted the same scheme earlier in the day, the file says.
Buckhannon Police Chief Matt Gregory said Williams had been wanted on an outstanding warrant for two fugitive from justice charges and was arrested in Weston.
Gregory said only Williams was arrested initially because West Virginia State Police discovered he had an outstanding warrant for arrest.
“Once [Williams] was taken into custody, everything with this investigation continued to transpire,” Gregory explained. “The three individuals were stopped at a hotel because they were staying in a local motel in Lewis County, and they found their car there.”
“The investigation itself is ongoing because the other two were released at the time,” Gregory said.
Bail was set at $45,000.
The possible penalty for a conviction of fraudulent schemes is confinement in the penitentiary for not less than one year nor more than 10 years, or, in the discretion of the court, confinement of up to one year and a fine of not more than $2,500. The possible penalty for a conviction of fraudulent use of access device is confinement for up to 10 years, a fine of up to $10,000 or both.
Finally, the possible penalty for a conviction of conspiracy to commit felony is confinement for not less than one year nor more than five years, a fine of not more than $10,000 or both.