Nine arrested in connection with bank fraud operation, dozens wa - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Nine arrested in connection with bank fraud operation, dozens wanted

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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

Nine people have been arrested and charged with bank fraud as part of a larger investigation dating back to February 2013 involving people setting up bank accounts and cashing fraudulent checks, according to the Richland County Sheriff's Department.

In a news conference Thursday, Sheriff Leon Lott unveiled details about the ring that involved almost 50 more people defrauding Midlands banks of more than $100,000.

According to investigators, the "ring leaders" in this case would recruit students, single parents, former criminals, and even homeless people, offering them money to go to a bank and open a checking account.

"They were focusing on people who were in financial trouble, students, homeless people, people who needed money and needed it quick," Lott said.  

Lott said once the account was opened, these recruits would then give the bank information to the ring leaders who would then deposit fraudulent checks into the accounts, allowing them to use ATM/Debit cards in the area prior to the checks being verified by the banks. The recruits, according to investigators, received a payment of $100 for their services.

"The recruiters would take it from their and start defrauding the banks, getting lots and lots of money," Lott said. "When the fraud was discovered, the ringleaders wouldn't be the ones the bank would go looking for, it'd be the ones who opened the checking account."

Back in May 2013, nine others were arrested in connection with helping run this operation.

"We hope by picking up those who were opening checking accounts who knew they were doing something illegal, and also by getting these recruiters or ringleaders, that we've put a stop to at least those who have been victimizing the Columbia area," Lott said.

There are still 42 suspects out there, Lott says they're the ones who were used, but will nevertheless face bank fraud charges.

"It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that you don't go open a checking account, get paid $100 for it, then give that debit card and all the account information to someone else," Lott said. "You know they're going to use it. They knew what they were doing. They were just trying to make a quick buck."

Deputies recently arrested the following suspects:

-Courtney Blair (DOB: 03/12/1988) charged with two counts of bank fraud and two counts of forgery
-Katrelle Breland (DOB: 08/15/1989) charged with two counts of bank fraud and two counts of forgery
-Whitney Green (DOB: 01/07/1991) charged with three counts of forgery, conspiracy, and bank fraud
-Lorenzo Young (DOB: 08/12/1994) charged with murder, burglary, and bank fraud
-Terry Daniels (DOB: 08/25/1989) charged with five counts of forgery and four counts of bank fraud
-Rachade Boulware (DOB: 11/25/1993) charged with five counts of bank fraud, forgery, conspiracy, burglary, trespassing, receiving stolen property, failure to stop for blue lights, and three counts of violation of probation
-Ashley Turner (DOB: 04/02/88) charged with bank fraud
-Mary Weaver (DOB: 03/13/1993) charged with bank fraud
-Rodney Glover (DOB: 08/12/1991) charged with bank fraud

Anyone with information in connection with this incident is asked to call Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.

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