[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 **

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

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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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by JCC Location: Killearn on Jun 22, 2011 at 07:07 AM
    I observed something odd last night when I gassed up at the Thomasville Road Wal-Mart. A black man was hanging around near the pumps, asking if anyone was paying for their gas with cash, that he had a $50 gift card he would give them in exchange for their cash. One person accepted the offer, saying "as long as it works." The cashier then proceeded to accept the gift card to pay for the man's gas, and he then gave the other guy $50. Seemed suspicious.
  • by walmart worker on Jun 19, 2011 at 11:39 AM
    what i really want to know is all of you who are downing us walmart workers, have you ever been to thomasville road walmart? yes we have a bunch of idiots working there but we also have workers who do care about there job. if you really want something to blame ... then blame the the economy if times wern't so hard there would be less crimes this is small compaired to other things happening now days look at the lady who killed her own kid is that her work place's fault? these people made there own choices not the parents. if you have a problem with what im saying then come find me and say what you want to my face instead of being a chicken on here.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jun 19, 2011 at 07:55 PM in reply to walmart worker
      Where you at
  • by DoDah Location: Tallahassee on Jun 17, 2011 at 04:58 PM
    Well. Simple solution. Just be careful which cashier you use at Wally World, or don't shop there anymore till Wally World gets their act together. As it stands now, I suspect there is a lot of merchandise going out the door unpaid for. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Let's face it, in Tallahassee, Walmart is a social friend promoting social justice to the dis-advantaged needy in our community, who are owed the merchandise.
  • by busted on Jun 17, 2011 at 11:36 AM
    I hope they teach them not to steal in jail.
  • by Apple Dumpling Gang on Jun 17, 2011 at 10:30 AM
    One bad apple spoils the barrell!!!!
  • by Black woman Location: Tallahassee on Jun 17, 2011 at 10:24 AM
    These workers were wrong and greedy, and I'm sure their parents didn't raise them to steal. and yes they stole from the caucasian race, but if you grow up poor and the people around you are poor, but the people you see on tv are rich and mostly a different color from you; which one are you gonna steal from? duh! I'm not saying they were right, but that's the only reason they stole from those folks, simply because they look like they have money. Now, they may have stolen from black folks, but it's not likely because a lot of black folks aren't coming into walmart with Credit cards. Everybody messes up, they get punished and life goes on. Big Deal!
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jun 17, 2011 at 01:09 PM in reply to Black woman
      BIG DEAL?????? You are worse than the people caught stealing!!!! Wow I cannot believe you are making excuses for these sorry trash!!!!! If you are going to make excuses for them, why not go sit in prison with them?
      • reply
        by Jessica on Jun 17, 2011 at 04:44 PM in reply to
        I have to agree with you Anonymous. I can't believe this woman is practically justifying their actions. What these people did is absolutely wrong and would be so regardless of their color. I can't even process how you'd even make a statement about growing up poor and them stealing from whites because they're more likely to be rich. Seriously?I'm at a loss of words. I'm white, not rich, yet you don't see me stealing from anyone because I know right from wrong, and I have respect for others. Obviously these criminals don't respect others.
  • by Anonymous on Jun 17, 2011 at 09:22 AM
    I agree there are thieves in both races. But the back thieves are targeteiing the white people vs the black people because the sentacing is less if the victim is white vs if the victim is black. Blacks stealing from blacks is not nearly as offensive to the black community as whites stealing from blacks and visa versa. So let them steal from thier own race and if either race steal from the other race charge all those crimes as hate crimes not just the one that have black victims. That racisim and you as a black person will never admit to that for the sole reason that I am white. ON the other hand when you a black person argued thiefs are in both races I as a white person admitted it with no problem. That is the difference. You are the racist, not me.
  • by Person of Color Location: Tallahassee on Jun 17, 2011 at 06:24 AM
    There thiefs in both races the difference is that blacks don't know how to steal. They steal a small amount and get life in prison. The white steal enough to last them the rest of their lifes and either get 5 to 10 years. Neither race should be stealing but lets get real about this matter, we all know that there is a lot of injustice in this world.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jun 17, 2011 at 07:11 AM in reply to Person of Color
      well said!
    • reply
      by Jessica on Jun 17, 2011 at 04:45 PM in reply to Person of Color
      exaggerate much?
  • by You guys want to scream racism, ok let's look at that. on Jun 17, 2011 at 04:51 AM
    The other thing that is very evident, in my opinion, is there was definitely a collaborated effort on their part to target only the white customers. If white people had done that to blacks, they would charge it as a hate crime and the penalty would be heavier. As far as the business being to blame, the labor laws forces them to hire blacks who are racist to work in their stores where their customer base is mostly white while at the same time the labor law does not force them to hire whites who are racist to work in their store where the customer base is mostly black. The labor laws and the hate crime laws protect the black consumer, but do not protect the white consumer. If you want to talk about racist, let’s talk about it.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jun 17, 2011 at 07:12 AM in reply to You guys want to scream racism, ok let's look at that.
      Your comment is dumb.. You sound crazy as heck.....
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Jun 17, 2011 at 09:26 AM in reply to
        My comment is accurate. Go to the FSU law library and look it up. The law gives blacks more protection from crime then it does whites and the only reason you are saying my comment sounds dumb is because you are black.
        • reply
          by Black woman on Jun 17, 2011 at 10:20 AM in reply to
          Are you upset because black people have "extra" protection under the law? Based on the history of our "great" government, it is necessary for us to have extra protection in order for us to get any kind of respectable treatment around here. Now-a-days things might seem a little bit better, but I do believe that if these laws were taken away and people found out, there would be alot of caucasian people acting a fool and treating black people how they want; not that they don't do that anyway........
      • reply
        by Jessica on Jun 17, 2011 at 04:49 PM in reply to
        @Black Woman, Really? Let me tell you something. I am not racist in the least but because I'm white, I have had a few black women call me racist when I couldn't do what they, as the customer, wanted. Once a black woman where I work came after we had closed and we let her know we couldn't let her in, and she screamed "racist b!tch!" Maybe it's time to quit playing the race card and quit acting like every white person is horrible. That really makes you sound very racist.
    • reply
      by Jessica on Jun 17, 2011 at 04:46 PM in reply to You guys want to scream racism, ok let's look at that.
      Exactly.
  • by jake on Jun 16, 2011 at 10:03 PM
    These are just loser thugs, also known as the people of wal-mart. Give white people a chance for gosh sakes.
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