SLIDELL, LA (WVUE) - Three Florida men are facing a slew of charges after being caught in an elaborate fraudulent credit card scheme. So far, the investigation spreads across four states: Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.
The investigation began in Slidell last Wednesday when a Wal-Mart Assets Protection employee allegedly saw three men attempt to purchase high-dollar electronic items by utilizing several different credit cards, some of which were being declined.
The employee notified a Slidell Police officer, who was working a paid security detail.
The officer says he questioned the three men, who were identified as 24-year-old Brad Flowers, 22-year-old Tacaveon Carson and 21-year-old Marquis Lloyd-Dawson. All three are from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
Slidell police say they discovered that the men were in possession of several "authentic-looking" credit cards with their actual names, but the numbers on the cards did not match the numbers programmed on the magnetic strip of the credit cards.
Slidell Police detectives were called out to further investigate.
Investigators say that the credit cards were reprogrammed with other people's identities and bank account information. The three men would allegedly use the fraudulent credit cards to purchase high dollar electronic merchandise and gift cards, and then travel back to Florida where they would sell the loot for fifty-cents on the dollar, police say.
"This trio traveled to Louisiana as an evasive maneuver to avoid detection and prosecution, but little did they know that Slidell Police investigators were willing to go the extra mile to ensure their scheme was foiled," Slidell Police Chief Randy said.
The investigation is on-going. The United States Secret Service is now involved because of the multi-jurisdictional lines.
Police say more arrests are expected to be made as the investigation continues.
Currently, all three suspects are being held at the St. Tammany Parish Jail and are charged with theft by fraud over $1,000; identity theft; access device fraud; bank fraud; forgery; monetary instrument abuse; computer fraud; and money laundering.