GREENSBORO — Police have arrested and charged three women who they say were involved in a ring that targeted eight credit unions and banks of more than $100,000 in loans and credit cards.
The women have been charged in separate instances over the past five months with various financial crimes, including obtaining property by false pretense and financial credit fraud.
Those charged are:
* Angela Faith Adcock, 26, of 1542 Rock Creek Dairy Road in Whitsett.
* Brandy Kabrina Jurado, 31, of 4452 Old Randleman Road in Greensboro.
* Donna Mae Robinson, 46, of 1309 Forest Oaks Circle in Pleasant Garden.
The arrests stem from an investigation started by Greensboro police six months ago. Banks contacted the police after finding similarities in many loan applications.
Detective Thomas Lippa, who led the case, said the investigation could eventually implicate up to 20 people.
“Individual after individual was using the same fictitious company as an employer,” Lippa said. “The paycheck stubs they were bringing in were identical to each other. The address was the wrong address. They all had extended fraud alerts.”
Police say at least two suspects pretended to be identity-theft victims; requested extended fraud alerts from Equifax, a credit reporting company; and had their credit temporarily “cleaned” of negative information.
With a good credit score in hand, they would go to area banks to get personal loans, auto loans and credit cards.
Police charged Robinson with obtaining or attempting to obtain more than $109,000 for herself and others by false pretense from eight banks and credit unions:
* Summit Credit Union.
* Greensboro Municipal Credit Union.
* Choice Community Credit Union.
* SunTrust Bank.
* Coastal Federal Credit Union.
* Truliant Federal Credit Union.
* Piedmont Advantage Credit Union.
* Carolina Postal Credit Union.
Jurado was charged with obtaining or attempting to obtain a car loan for $23,212.11 from Choice Community Credit Union under false pretenses.
Police charged Adcock with securing a $5,000 credit card and a $15,000 loan under false pretense from Coastal Federal Credit Union.
“They have taken a legitimate vehicle for victims and turned it into a criminal enterprise,” Lippa said.
Extended fraud alerts are meant to help prevent an identity thief from opening more accounts.
“It’s not a perfect system and, unfortunately, it hurts the individuals that are real victims of identity theft,” Lippa said.
Robinson was released Tuesday from the Guilford County jail after posting $50,000 bond.
She declined comment Wednesday. Her daughter-in-law, Sherry Watson, disputed the case.
“The stuff that was written in the newspaper was totally false,” Watson said. “Anything that was said about her is not true and she did not steal anybody’s information or identity.”
“Anyone that is involved in this case did anything on her own,” she said.
Moshera Mills, Robinson’s attorney, said nothing could be said about Robinson’s case yet because she is still investigating. “We’re going to zealously advocate on her behalf,” Mills said.
Jurado and Adcock could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
Martha Miller, CEO of Choice Community Credit Union, said the banks deal with many types of fraud regularly.
“You just learn and exchange information as you go along,” she said. “You just hope that you stay one step ahead of them.”
Dean Adams, vice president of fraud services at Advanced Fraud Solutions, said financial institutions should know their customers well and do due diligence to verify credit information.
“Is the information provided to you consistent with the information that you’re seeing on the credit report?” Adams asked.
Miller agreed. “It just teaches us, unfortunately, that we just have to verify more independently, and know our members, and the ones we don’t know, we have to go to extremes to verify,” she said.
Miller said that institutions look for red flags, such as the extended fraud alerts.
“It’s just trying to sort out the good and the bad and it’s not always easy.”