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Two charged in credit card theft

A Bryans Road woman and Clinton woman have been charged with credit card theft, general theft, forgery of private documents and other related charges after an investigation was concluded on May 3.

According to charging documents from Charles County Sheriff’s Office Cpl. Gilroy, on Feb. 12, the daughter of the victim reported a check and credit card fraud in reference to two separate checking accounts and one credit card. At the time, $349.87 of unauthorized charges went through and $684.08 charges were attempted. The theft and fraud allegedly occurred between Oct. 1, 2019, and Feb. 10.

The victim’s daughter reported that on Feb. 10, she was contacted by the victim’s bank in reference to a check written to Zamena Priscilla Squire, 27, for $655. The bank was advised the check was not written by the victim and was instructed to not cash the check. Further search through the victim’s checking account and credit/debit cards revealed additional purchases and checks not authorized by the victim or her daughter, including nearly $350 in fraudulent charges.

The victim was a resident at Sagepoint Senior Living Services in La Plata. Multiple fraudulent charges were highlighted from one bank account between Jan. 12 and Feb. 3, including purchases at multiple businesses and through the Doordash smartphone app. Officers were unable to obtain surveillane video from any of the businesses.

On Feb. 13, officers were provided a fraudulent check, Squire’s identification and the bank fraud and security report from a bank representative. On Feb. 26, officers received records from Doordash for an account attached to the victim, allegedly showing that the customer was Uniqua Christina West, 26.

Multiple fraudulent charges were allegedly found on the card from Jan. 20 to Jan. 25 as provided to officers by Doordash. On Feb. 26, officers responded to Sagepoint where they met with the victim, who alleged she did not know anyone by the name of Zamena Squire and did not write a check to her.

Officers made contact with Sagepoint management which provided a list of the employees, one of them being West. West’s information and employment paperwork were provided to officers when they learned that West often helps in the same building that the victim lives in.

West’s work schedule was provided along with communication notes taken by her. Management advised police that communication notes are when a nurse needs to make a note into the resident’s file. West allegedly made communication notes for the victim on Dec. 28, around the same time frame the check appears to have been stolen.

Further inspection of West’s employment paperwork revealed that the phone number and email provided matched the information provided on the Doordash account in which the fraudulent charges with the victim’s stolen card number was used. On March 2, officers again responded to Sagepoint to make contact with West regarding the charges.

West allegedly confessed to copying the victim’s credit card number and taking one check. West then allegedly stated she had the intention of using the debit card number but her friend, Squire, stole it from her and must have used it.

On March 3, officers responded to Laren Drive in Clinton and made contact with Squire. She allegedly admitted to trying to cash the victim’s check on Feb. 10, but denied using the victim’s debit card number.

Squire allegedly showed officers her Doordash account on her phone, which revealed the saved card on the app matched that of the victim’s stolen card number. Squire allegedly stated that she did not know whose card it was, and officers viewed text messages between her and West while she was in the bank. Squire’s phone was then taken for forensic download.

On March 25, officers reviewed the forensic download of the phone and found identifying information confirming it was Squire’s phone, plus numbers for West in the phone. Reportedly, hundreds of text messages were exchanged between Squire and West over a long period of time.

Of those messages, West allegedly provided Squire with the victim’s stolen bank card number, expiration date and three-digit Card Verification Value, or CVV, typically located on the back of the card. Initially the card number is off by one digit, and Squire advises that the card number is not working. West then allegedly gave the correct card info by text message.

Officers concluded that West allegedly stole the victim’s two checks and credit card, then used the card number and provided it to Squire to use. West allegedly took Squire to the bank to cash a stolen check. Squire then allegedly attempted to cash the check and lied to the bank teller regarding where she received it.

Squire and West have preliminary hearings scheduled for July 27.

Twitter: @RVollandIndy

Twitter: @RVollandIndy