High Country Crime: Equifax scammer posing as an Eagle County Sheriff’s detective called that detective
October 8, 2017
Scammers have become so brazen that an Eagle County Sheriff's detective received a call, on the office phone, from a scammer claiming to be an Eagle County Sheriff's detective.
The scammer then requested the detective's Social Security number, claiming that he wanted to pull up a warrant, said Jessie Porter, a public information officer with the Eagle County Sheriff's Office.
"The scammer didn't realize that he was actually speaking to a detective from the (sheriff's office). We receive calls almost daily reporting phone scams," Porter said.
So it should surprise no one that the tentacles of the massive Equifax hack, and scams that inevitably followed, have reached into Eagle County.
"I would tell people not to release any personal information to anyone," said Porter.
Several locals have been contacted by scammers, and a few have lost money. One woman called the Vail Daily to warn others.
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She was called by someone posing as a federal marshal, informing her that her identity had been stolen and someone had committed a crime posing as her.
To prove your identity and protect your assets so the government doesn't take them, you need to put money into iTunes gift cards and send us a picture of you and the cards to show that you bought them, the scammers told her.
The scammers were so convincing, and thanks to the Equifax hack had so much of her personal information to create the ruse, including her Social Security number, that she did it. The scammers then transferred the money off the cards and disconnected the phone line from which they had called.
She filed a report with the Eagle County Sheriff's Office, but the damage had already been done.
—Randy Wyrick, The Vail Daily
Aspen office manager steals $660k from sister, cops say
The former office manager and sister of one of the doctors at a women's care clinic at Aspen Valley Hospital has been charged with stealing more than $660,000 from the business, according to court documents.
Shannon Nagle, 51, admitted to an Aspen police investigator that she'd been stealing from All Valley Women's Care since she became the office manager in 2010, according to an affidavit filed in Pitkin County District Court.
However, she is charged only with the thefts she allegedly committed between July 2015 and December 2016, when former Aspen police detective Jeff Fain determined she stole $663,000 from the business, the affidavit states. Nagle is the older sister of Dr. Melinda Nagle, one of two partners who own All Valley Women's Care, according to the document.
Shannon Nagle cited "anger and resentment" toward her sister as well as health issues and "all sorts of justifications" for the theft in an interview with Fain, the affidavit states.
The office's financials were tracked by a QuickBooks accounting software account that allowed Shannon Nagle to hide the money coming out the office's bank account as medical or office supplies, the affidavit states.
"The entirety of the fraudulent charges were contained within the various credit card statements, which no one else had access to," Fain wrote in the affidavit.
Shannon Nagle's salary was $110,000 a year, the affidavit states.
In June, Shannon Nagle told police that her anger and resentment toward her sister — which was rooted in shared real estate transactions — drove her in 2010 to begin buying groceries and small things. Then in 2014 she came down with an eating disorder and other health issues that prompted her to begin "binge shopping," according to the affidavit.
In addition, one of her daughters began "doing really well with horse riding," so she began paying for those expenses with clinic credit cards.
By summer 2016, Shannon Nagle said "she had 'all sorts of justifications' for what she was doing and was 'angry and in denial which was a bad combo,'" the affidavit states.
"She felt unappreciated at work, wasn't getting raises while other employees were and felt that (Melinda) Nagle and (her business partner) believed she wasn't worth her salary," according to Fain's affidavit.
—Jason Auslander, The Aspen Times
Four arrested in Rifle with 120 pounds of pot
The regional drug task force arrested four men found with about 120 pounds of marijuana on Wednesday, Oct. 4, in Rifle. A couple of the men said they were working at a grow site somewhere in the mountains.
A Rifle police officer on patrol spotted an SUV without working brake lights that evening. "As soon as (the officer) stepped out of his patrol car he could smell the overwhelming, nauseating smell of marijuana," according to an arrest report. He found the SUV's cargo area was full of large trash bags.
Rifle police informed Two Rivers Drug Enforcement Team about the stop, reporting that they "could see marijuana on the parties in the vehicle and buds of marijuana on the floor of the vehicle." Four men in the SUV were arrested. Upon searching the vehicle, officers found seven large bags full of marijuana.
The driver and one passenger refused to talk to investigators. But the other two told investigators that they had been working at a grow somewhere in the nearby mountains. They said they were hired in California, but they did not know whom they were working for.
One of the men told investigators that he had been in the area for only four or five days. But he could not identify where the grow was, as he was taken to and from the site in the dark. He estimated the grow was about 30 minutes to an hour out of town, but he didn't know in what direction. "Today he was told to bring everything off the mountain and get in the car. (He) did not know who the boss was or where they were going," according to an affidavit.
During questioning, the other man "kept rubbing his thumbs together during the entirety of the interview and broke down almost crying at times out of fear," a TRIDENT officer reported. He said that he'd been promised to make $250 per day, and "had been told that he was going to come here and plant trees where a fire had burned through."
He said the driver was not working with them at the grow, that he only picked them up that day. "They had told him that if he talked they would kill him and his family," though he couldn't say who "they" were, according to a TRIDENT report.
TRIDENT officers believed that two of the men were "involved in intent to distribute" the marijuana, while the other two were only involved in its cultivation.
The two who refused to speak with investigators, which included the driver, were arrested on charges of possession with intent to distribute more than 50 pounds of marijuana, a Class 1 drug felony. The passenger was also arrested on felony cultivation of more than 30 marijuana plants.
The two who spoke to investigators were arrested on felony cultivation of more than 30 marijuana plants.
—Ryan Summerlin, Glenwood Springs Post-Independent
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