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Valdosta man arrested

Staff Reports The Moultrie Observer The Moultrie Observer Thu Jun 16, 2011, 09:54 PM EDT

MOULTRIE — A Valdosta man was arrested Tuesday in Moultrie, an alleged link in an international fraud ring.

Steven Randall Edmondson, 57, of 4985 Radar Site Road in Valdosta, was charged Tuesday with identity theft. Additional charges of identity theft and financial transaction card fraud are pending presentation before a grand jury, authorities said.

Moultrie Police Investigator Sgt. Steve Stratman said security personnel at Wal-Mart on South Veterans Parkway called the Moultrie Police Department Monday about a suspected fraudulent order. An order for two televisions was placed through the Wal-Mart website and were being delivered to the store for pick-up.

The televisions were ordered by the same person, identified as Edmondson, but Stratman said they were ordered using two different credit cards. While researching the credit cards used in the purchase, Stratman spoke with a man in Yakima, Wash., who stated he did not authorize anyone to use his credit card.

Wal-Mart security called Stratman about noon Tuesday and stated Edmondson was at the store to pick up the televisions, valued at $715. Edmondson was placed under arrest at the store.

Further investigation found Edmondson had also allegedly purchased a laptop computer, valued at $487, from the store in May using a stolen credit card, Stratman said. An empty laptop computer box with a Wal-Mart distribution center sticker on it was found in his vehicle, Stratman said.

Stratman said Edmondson admitted in an interview that he used stolen credit cards to purchase three televisions and a laptop computer from the Moultrie Wal-Mart. He allegedly said he purchased two televisions from the Tifton Wal-Mart and a laptop computer from a Valdosta Wal-Mart using stolen credit cards.

Investigators searched Edmondson’s house, and Stratman said they found several laptop computer boxes. They also found several expensive watches that were possibly stolen and were packaged to be shipped to Nigeria, Stratman said.

Stratman said Edmondson told police he had been involved in the activity for more than two years. He would receive orders from unknown people to pick up property at Wal-Mart or that was sent to his house using an alias. Edmondson would then sell the items for a profit and send money to Nigeria or Ghana, Stratman said.

Stratman said three victims of the fraud have been identified, with the first victim from Yakima, Wash. A second victim has been identified as living in Zanesville, Ohio, and a third victim has been identified, but it was not known where this person lived.

The alleged activity appears to be related to a Nigerian scam, and Stratman said it appears the credit cards used were sold as a block of stolen credit cards. It was not known specifically how the credit cards were obtained, however.

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June 20, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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