TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Red Cross Worker Steals Client Debit Cards

Red Cross Worker Steals Client Debit Cards

Kathy Colvin ((no email))
Tue, 6 Dec 2005 22:33:42 -0600

Red Cross Volunteer and His Sister Charged With Stealing More Than 100
Red Cross Debit Cards Intended For Hurricane Evacuees

Contact: Kathy Colvin of the U.S. Department of Justice, 214-659-8707,

DALLAS, Dec. 6 /U.S. Newswire/ -- United States Attorney Richard B.
Roper announced that Brian Oneal Hines and his sister, Charmaine
Denise Hines, surrendered to a federal marshall Tuesday and appeared
before United States Magistrate Judge Wm. F. Sanderson, Jr., on
charges outlined in a federal criminal complaints filed yesterday in
the Northern District of Texas. Each complaint charges each with using
stolen Red Cross debit cards to fraudulently obtain goods and
services, in violation of 18 U.S.C. section 1029(a)(2). Judge
Sanderson detained each of the defendants.

The affidavit filed with the federal criminal complaint states that on
Nov. 2, federal law enforcement agents received information from the
Red Cross office located at 4800 Harry Hines Boulevard in Dallas that
a Red Cross volunteer/temporary worker, Brian Hines, was committing
fraud with stolen Red Cross debit cards intended for hurricane

A Red Cross employee stated while he was researching missing Red Cross
debit cards on Sept. 27, Hines came into the office offering to volunteer.
While the employee was working, he noticed that Hines had a small piece of
paper in his hand and that every time he came around, Hines would crumple up
the piece of paper in a suspicious manner. The employee was able to read
numbers on Hines' paper and identified the numbers on this list as being
consistent with a series of missing debit cards.

The employee was able to determine that one of the missing debit
account numbers had been activated with $4,695 loaded as the value of
the card. The employee found that there were at least 100 debit cards
missing. The national office of the Red Cross notified the employee
that half of the missing one hundred cards had been activated, most of
which with a value of $4,695 each, an unusual amount according to the
Red Cross employee.

Prior to Nov. 2, the Red Cross employee had discussed his suspicions
about Hines with another Red Cross employee, who thought it was probable
that Hines might leave the Red Cross office and conduct a fraudulent ATM
transaction using one or more stolen Red Cross debit cards. On the afternoon
of Nov. 2, the employee observed Hines exit the Red Cross parking lot and
drive to a Frost Bank branch located on Harwood in Dallas, where Hines
pulled into the ATM lane of the bank. A few days later, a U.S. Postal
Inspector and a U.S. Secret Service agent interviewed Hines who eventually
admitted repeatedly using stolen Red Cross debit cards to fraudulently
obtain large amounts of cash from Dallas area ATMs. Hines stated he gave
20 - 25 cards to his sister, Charmaine Denise Hines and her boyfriend. When
asked what he bought with the proceeds from the debit cards, Hines stated
that he bought jewelry for himself and his girlfriend and vehicles for both
family members and friends. Hines also gave gifts of cash, clothing, shoes
and jewelry to his family and friends

Hines also admitted that in October of 2005, he stole at least 100 Red
Cross debit cards or "client assistance cards" from various
locations. Hines stated that he was able to steal Red Cross debit
cards from the Reunion Arena location with the help of _security guard
personnel_. Hines confessed to activating and loading (values) on
approximately 100 stolen debit cards.

When law enforcement interviewed Charmaine Denise Hines, she admitted
that her brother had given her several stolen Red Cross debit cards and that
she had fraudulently used the cards to obtain large amounts of cash.

While the investigation is ongoing to determine the scope of the
fraudulent activity and the total dollar loss, Red Cross records
reflect a loss of more than $230,000 at this time.

U.S. Attorney Roper praised the investigative efforts of the U.S.
Secret Service and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. The case is
being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David Jarvis.

Copyright 2005 U.S. Newswire 202-347-2770

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