Inmates' Phone Use Paid for With $10,000 Stolen from Greendale Residents
The victims' checking account was compromised when one of the account holders tried to sponsor a child for the Big Brothers Big Sisters program.
Two Greendale residents say over $10,000 went missing from their checking account, and that the money was used to pay for cell phone services and phone services for incarcerated people.
Two people were arrested May 14 for their alleged involvement in the identity theft scheme that defrauded the two residents, according to a press release from the Greendale Police Department.
One of the Greendale residents reported to police on Jan. 2 that someone had obtained her checking account information and had established multiple cellular telephone accounts that were being billed to her checking account.
The victim, who shares a checking account with her 95 year-old father, sponsored a child in a Big Sister/Little Sister program that allowed the child to attend a summer camp.
The victim wrote a personal check to pay the summer camp tuition. Before the organization even received the check, the account and routing information was allegedly compromised by the intended girl’s family.
The suspect is accused of establishing multiple cellular phone accounts, using cash to purchase the phones, but with the monthly bills automatically deducted from the victims' checking account.
The suspect then sold the active phones to other people for betwee $100 and $150 and provided the checking account information so they could continue using the victim’s checking account to renew the auto payment on the phones.
The suspect also set up inmate phone services for five friends who were incarcerated in state prison so they could call her on one of her cell phones, and the payment for the calls would be deducted from the victim’s checking account.
The case was referred to the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office for charges. One person has been charged, and prosecutors are reviewing information for possible charges against the second suspect.