Chesterton Tribune


CPD: Credit card fraud scheme cracked at Kmart

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Chesterton Police Chief Dave Cincoski had a hand on Friday in cracking a credit-card fraud scheme allegedly run by two Detroit, Mich., residents.

Arrested on charges of fraud and attempted fraud was Janeen Johnson, 24; on charges of attempted fraud and aiding in an attempted fraud, Jessica Sanders, also 24. Both have been booked into the Porter County Jail.

According to his probable cause affidavit, Cincoski was the first to respond to a report, from the Kmart at 750 Indian Boundary Road, of the attempted use of a fraudulent credit card. That report was made by the store manager, who possibly recognized Johnson “as having been in the store previously and successfully completed a transaction” with a credit card later determined to be fraudulent. That transaction occurred on Sept. 6 and involved the purchase of more than $2,100 in gift cards, Cincoski stated in his affidavit.

Meanwhile, in electronics, a second female subject—identified as Sanders—successfully completed a purchase of a cell phone case and charger. In that case Sanders first tried to use a Discover card which did not work, then returned a short time later with a card which did, Cincoski said. Sanders was subsequently located at the nearby Pizza Hut.

Both Johnson and Sanders were detained and questioned.

Johnson gave this account of their activity, Cincoski stated. “Johnson stated that Sanders would pick her up and drive her to various department stores and give her a credit card. (Johnson) figured that the credit cards presented to her were not valid, but she was to do whatever she could to ‘work’ her card, obtain whatever merchandise she could, focusing primarily on purchasing gift cards. Johnson advised that her payment for these endeavors was in the form of a portion of the cards she was able to obtain. She stated that she had only been conducting these excursions for about a month and her ‘take’ had been a ‘couple of thousand dollars.’”

Sanders, for her part, “stated that she knew nothing about fraudulent cards or the use of such cards.”

Found in the two’s vehicle were “several credit and gift cards” as well as “a number of tablets of paper containing handwritten notes of names, addresses, Social Security numbers, and Medicare numbers of several subjects and a credit report” in a man’s name,” Cincoski stated.


Posted 9/18/2012