Two women face theft charges for scamming multiple Colorado banks
Silverthorne and Frisco police arrested two women, charged with theft and accused of using fake credit cards to get cash advances from several banks across the state.
Cynthia Johnson (also known as Jacquelyn Murray) was arrested on Oct. 14 in Frisco after she allegedly attempted to take out a $5,000 cash advance from Alpine Bank using a credit card under a false name.
Vanessa Ravare (also known as Sandra Seawell) was arrested by Silverthorne Police on Oct. 21 after bank staff had been informed of the attempted fraud in Frisco. When an officer contacted the suspect, she was found to be in possession of fraudulent paperwork, according to Silverthorne Police.
Both women are facing charges of theft, a class-four felony, forgery, a class-five felony, identity theft, criminal impersonation and unauthorized use of a financial transaction device.
In addition, Johnson faces a class-two felony charge for violation of the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act by means of involvement in a racketeering conspiracy in Eagle County and Summit County. If found guilty, she would face a maximum of 48 years in the Department of Corrections.
“Fraud effects are widespread, undermining our trust in banks and raising costs for everybody,” assistant district attorney Heidi McCollum said in a statement. “Diligent coordination among law enforcement agencies in this complex, multi-county investigation, with skill and persistence, has led to these two arrests. We continue to seek other suspects who are at large.”
The suspects allegedly went from bank to bank, attempting to get cash advances on a fake credit card and using false identification. Both defendants had accomplices who posed as Capital One customer service representatives, responding to fake call numbers listed on the back of the card.
When the card was denied, they would tell the teller the credit card company was not aware of travel plans and told them to call the number of the representative.
Alpine Bank claimed they had lost a total of $37,550 from the combined scams, McCollum said.
“They’ve been operating in Colorado for a while,” said Thomas Kelly, a public information officer for the Fifth Judicial District Attorney’s office.
Both defendants were accused of involvement in identical scams at banks in Fruita, Grand Junction, Rifle, Glenwood Springs, Gypsum, Edwards, Avon, Vail, Breckenridge, Dillon, Frisco and Silverthorne, as well as multiple jurisdictions around the state.
In addition, Johnson is currently on probation out of Santa Clara, Calif. for second-degree burglary, felony attempted theft, using an alternate access card and stolen vehicle charges.
An active investigation involving law officers from Breckenridge, Frisco, Silverthorne, Avon and the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office is still underway.
Ravare will appear at the Summit County District Court on Nov. 3 at 9 a.m.; Johnson’s case was moved to Eagle County, with combined charges from the Summit and Eagle County allegations, where she will appear in court on Wednesday, Nov. 4 at 9 a.m.
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