Six people – which included two Escambia County Department of Human Resource employees – are facing more than 400 criminal charges following allegations they used DHR client information to obtain fraudulent loans.
Randy Nicholson, assistant chief with the Brewton Police Department, said
“This case began after we learned that the Social Security numbers and other identifying items of information from clients were being used at local a ‘fast cash, title loan’ location,” Nicholson said. “During the course of the investigation we learned the group used the practice to obtain more than $40,000 in fraudulent loans.”
The day’s joint operation between the BPD and the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office is the culmination of a two-year investigation.
“We don’t want people to think that it took us two years to put a stop to the illegal activity,” Nicholson said. “That is not the case. The first arrest came in November 2013 when an internal company audit revealed that an employee was obtaining fraudulent loans.”
The employee was identified as Nakia Nettles of Brewton. Nettles was arrested Tuesday and faces one count of theft of property I, 76 counts of identity theft and 76 counts of possession of a forged instrument.
“What followed was months and months of investigative work to identify victims and get to the bottom of how the scheme was orchestrated,” he said. “I am pleased to say that, with the assistance of the Escambia County grand jury, we were able to coordinate and announce the arrests of those involved.”
Nicholson said those whose identities were used to obtain the fraudulent loans will be contacted by the BPD or district attorney’s office.
“At no time was any child support money used in this scheme,” Nicholson said. “This money, these loans, they were never repaid, and the funds were used for their own personal benefit.”
• Evelyn Daniels on four counts each of theft of property II, identity theft and possession of a forged instrument;
• Monique Pierre Louise, DHR employee, for 17 counts each of theft of property II, identity theft, possession of a forged instrument and ethics violations;
• Marilyn Bass, DHR employee, for three counts each of theft of property II, identity theft, possession of a forged instrument and ethics violations; and,
• Valerie Anderson for 28 counts each of theft of property II, identity theft and possession of a forged instrument.
• Jeffrey Redmon for two counts each of theft of property II, possession of a forged instrument and identity theft.
Each was booked into the Escambia County Detention Center, with the exception of Anderson, who is being held in the Monroe County Jail.