[UPDATE] Another Employee Arrest in Tallahassee Wal-Mart Fraud Case

By: LCSO Press Release; Julie Montanaro Email
By: LCSO Press Release; Julie Montanaro Email

UPDATED 6.15.2011 6:30pm by Julie Montanaro

A fifth Wal Mart employee was arrested this afternoon in the wake of a credit card fraud scheme.

31 year old Artice Jones is accused of identity theft and credit card fraud.

Arrest papers released today show the sales associates may have made as many as eight purchases a day with the stolen numbers.

Five employees at this Wal Mart on Thomasville Road are facing multiple felonies. Deputies say they stole credit card from customers and used them to rack up more than $11,000 in merchandise and gift card purchases.

"They're capable of doing a lot of things because it is so busy and it's hard to control that many people, especially that many that work there," said shopper Skip Hendrix.

A just released surveillance photo shows two of the employees in action. Deputies say Karen Simmons is at the register keying in the numbers and Christopher Williams is at the counter with a pen and paper.

Arrest papers released today show one victim was swindled to the tune of more than 9-thousand dollars. It lists 33 transactions on her card in one week, ranging from 50 to 800 bucks.

"You know, it's disturbing, but you;re going to have bad apples in every bunch and you can't stop all of this stuff," said shopper Bob Conners. "So whatever due diligence they need to do, I'm sure it'll get somebody's attention."

Wal Mart contends this was not a data breach, but a clerk who memorized numbers. A Wal Mart spokeswoman says once a customer is finished making a purchase, no one can go back and pull up that credit card number. it's encrypted except for the last four digits.

The Wal Mart spokeswoman says all of the employees arrested have been fired.

We did talk to three of the scam victims today, but none wanted to talk on camera.
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[UPDATE] June 15, 2011

Fifth Suspect Arrested in Fraud Case

Tallahassee, FL - On June 15, 2011, Financial Crimes detectives obtained warrants and arrested Artice Jones, 31, in connection with the credit card compromise that took place last month at a local Wal-mart store.

On May 18, 2011, the Leon County Sheriff’s Office received a report regarding several compromised credit card accounts. Financial Crimes detectives discovered that all of the illegal transactions
occurred at the Wal-mart store located at 5500 Thomasville Road. Detectives working with the store’s loss prevention employees soon learned that several employees had been purchasing large amounts
of Wal-mart gift cards by keying in the credit card information instead of swiping the cards at the register. These were confirmed to be the fraudulent transactions that involved at least six different credit card accounts. So far, the involved employees have been identified as Karen Simmons, 28, Christopher Williams, 20, Odell Baity, 18, and Christina Pompe, 21. Detectives have now arrested Simmons, Williams, Baity, Pompe and Jones on outstanding warrants in this case.

Sheriff Larry Campbell stated, “This case is a good example of the store’s loss prevention officers aggressively working with detectives to stop this scheme as quickly as possible. This is exactly why it
is so important to monitor your accounts closely.”

** Mugshot: of Artice Jones is attached **

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Tallahassee, Florida - June 15, 2011 - 9:45am -

Surveillance picture is attached.

On June 14, 2011, detectives located and arrested Christina Pompe.

On May 18, 2011, the Leon County Sheriff’s Office received a report regarding several compromised credit card accounts. Financial Crimes detectives discovered that all of the illegal transactions
occurred at the Wal-mart store located at 5500 Thomasville Road. Detectives working with the store’s loss prevention employees soon learned that several employees had been purchasing large amounts of Wal-mart gift cards by keying in the credit card information instead of swiping the cards at the register. These were confirmed to be the fraudulent transactions that involved at least six different credit card accounts. So far, the involved employees have been identified as Karen Simmons, 28, Christopher Williams, 20, Odell Baity, 18, and Christina Pompe, 21. Detectives have already arrested Simmons, Williams and Baity on outstanding warrants in this case.

Detectives say this investigation is continuing and additional charges are likely.

_________________________________________

Tallahassee, Florida - June 14, 2011 -

The fourth Wal-Mart fraud suspect was arrested, according to the Leon County Sheriff's Office.

_________________________________

Tallahassee, Florida - June 14, 2011 -

Full release is attached in PDF format above.

On May 18, 2011, the Leon County Sheriff’s Office received a report regarding several compromised credit card accounts. Financial Crimes detectives discovered that all of the illegal transactions
occurred at the Wal-mart store located at 5500 Thomasville Road. Detectives working with the store’s loss prevention employees soon learned that several employees had been purchasing large amounts
of Wal-mart gift cards by keying in the credit card information instead of swiping the cards at the register. These were confirmed to be the fraudulent transactions that involved at least six different
credit card accounts.

So far, the involved employees have been identified as Karen Simmons, 28, Christopher Williams, 20, Odell Baity, 18, and Christina Pompe, 21. Detectives have already arrested Simmons, Williams and Baity on outstanding warrants in this case. Warrants have also been obtained for Pompe; however she has not yet been arrested.

During the investigation, detectives learned that Baity obtained his Grandmother’s credit card information and provided it to Simmons and Williams so they could purchase some of the gift cards.
Williams was also observed writing down credit card numbers after some of the victims used their cards in the sporting goods section.

Detectives say this investigation is continuing and additional charges are likely. Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Christina Pompe is asked to contact the Leon County Sheriff’s Office
at (850) 922-3300 or Crime Stoppers at (850) 574-TIPS (8477). Remember, Crime Stoppers does not want your name, just your information. You could be eligible for up to a $1,000.00 reward.


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