BUCKHANNON – An Upshur County man was arrested after allegedly using a debit card number he did not own to make online purchases.
Travis L. Kelley, 41, of Buckhannon, was arrested on four counts of fraudulent use of an access device, a felony.
According to the criminal complaint in the Upshur County Magistrate Clerk’s Office filed by investigating officer Trooper Z.M. Lewis with the Buckhannon detachment of the West Virginia State Police, on Monday Oct. 4, 2021, at approximately 10:45 a.m., Lewis received a call from a woman in reference to fraudulent charges on a debit card that occurred on Oct. 2, 2021.
The female caller said there were seven charges totaling $484.37 completed over the two-day period of Oct. 2-3, 2021. She told police that neither she nor the card owner had authorized the purchases.
The unauthorized charges included two $5 charges on Google Play; four different charges at Rent-A-Center in the amounts of $34.11, $60.84, $266.62 and $84.36; and one charge at Walmart for $28.44. All unauthorized purchases were made online, according to the police report. The woman said she never lost possession of the card and canceled the card soon after discovering the charges.
The female complainant also told police that the day the unauthorized transactions occurred, two people came to her home: Travis Kelley and a woman named Daisy Posey. While at her residence, the woman said Posey asked to use the restroom inside the home on several occasions and that the debit card was sitting near the bathroom area.
The caller told police she thought it was abnormal that Posey had repeatedly asked to go near the bathroom but did not think of anything of it at the time, the file states. The woman said when Posey left the home, the debit card was not missing.
On Oct. 7, 2021, at approximately 4 p.m., the investigating officer, Lewis, contacted Rent-A-Center by phone in reference to the incident and spoke to the manager at Rent-A-Center about the four unauthorized charges.
The manager looked up the account the debit card was used on, and they all belonged to Kelley. In addition, all the unauthorized Rent-A-Center purchases were completed online, which would require Kelley’s username and password, Lewis noted in the report.
Then, about a month later, on Nov. 7, at 1:30 p.m. Lewis interviewed Kelley, who came into the WVSP Buckhannon detachment after hearing police were looking for him. He reportedly told police he did not pay his bills online because he did not understand how, and that Posey handled it for him. Kelley went on to say that about a month ago, Posey informed him she had paid off his Rent-A-Center debts. When Kelley asked her where she had obtained the money, Posey told him she had used money from her PayPal account, according to the police report.
Kelley told police Posey frequently played video games on her mobile device and “didn’t know if the money had something to do with them,” according to the report. Kelley also told Lewis that Posey used an Android phone, which would utilize Google Play store for game purchases.
The next day, Monday, Nov. 8, at 11:30 a.m., Lewis arrived at Posey’s home to speak with her. Posey claimed she was not involved with the fraudulent transactions “despite the evidence and circumstances provided to her,” the officer wrote in the police report. However, due to the evidence collected, Lewis attempted to place Posey under arrest, but she allegedly resisted and “began pulling her hands away from Lewis’s grasp,” the file states.
The officer ordered Posey to comply and place her hands behind her back, but Posey allegedly continued to resist. Eventually, Lewis “escorted Posey to the ground,” at which point he successfully placed her in handcuffs.
After she was placed under arrest, Posey claimed she wanted to make a different statement, so after being read her Miranda rights, Posey allegedly told police she used the debit card information for the unauthorized Google Play purchases (two charges in the amount of $5) and Walmart purchase ($28.44). However, she claimed she did not use the card for the unauthorized Rent-A-Center transactions, which amounted to just over $445. Posey would not state how she obtained the card information, the file states.
When Lewis took her to the state police barracks, Posey “once again changed her story and claimed she only used the card on Google Play,” the file says.
Posey told state police she “did not complete the transactions on Rent-A-Center” and “had no idea how to log in to Travis Kelley’s account,” the police report states.
“Ms. Posey stated Mr. Kelley is the only one who knows how to log in and pay his [Rent-A-Center] account with his personal username and password which is unknown to Ms. Posey,” Trooper Lewis wrote in the report.
On Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021, Lewis decided to file four charges against the Rent-A-Center account holder, Travis L. Kelley, for fraudulent use of an access device.
Upshur County Magistrate Alan Suder set bail at $10,000 cash or surety.
The penalty for a conviction of each count of fraudulent use of an access device is confinement in the state penitentiary for not more than 10 years or a fine of up to $10,000.