Fraud News

Fifth case of bogus debit card use surfaces at Hoosier Park

Author: Stuart Hirsch | The Herald Bulletin / Source: Herald Bulletin

ANDERSON — A fifth person has been arrested by Indiana Gaming Commission investigators on suspicion of obtaining cash advances at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino using bogus bank debit cards.

And that’s likely just the tip of the iceberg, authorities now say.

Although the latest incident occurred on Jan. 11, 21-year-old Jennifer L. Bolton, Indianapolis, wasn’t taken into custody until Tuesday.

The Madison County Prosecutor’s office charged Bolton with Level 5 felony fraud on a financial institution, and Level 6 felony theft. Her $20,000 bond was paid shortly after she was booked.

“Since the fall of 2016, the Indiana Gaming Commission has investigated 20 such cases of fraud or suspected fraud at our Central Indiana casinos,” gaming commission investigator Larry D. Johnson said in Bolton’s probable cause affidavit.

“The common denominators found during our investigation linking these cases together, confirm that a group of persons working together are committing criminal acts in our Central Indiana casinos,” Johnson added.

That can mean only two properties — Hoosier Park and Indiana Grand Racing & Casino in Shelbyville — both of which are owned by Centaur Gaming.

“Unfortunately, this type of crime, fraudulent credit card use, is perpetrated on all types of businesses, including casinos,” Kiersten Flint, Centaur vice president of advertising and communication, said in a statement Friday. “Although cases like this do not occur often at our casinos, we are one of the types of businesses that criminals will attempt to complete fraudulent transactions. In this case, it happened to Hoosier Park.”

Her statement continued: “These crimes are harmful to consumers and businesses. We have and will continue to work diligently and responsibly to ensure that these types of crimes are minimized or do not occur at all at our facilities. If they do occur, we will work to assist in the apprehension and prosecution of the criminal involved in this unlawful act.”

The typical scenario is for young men or women to arrive at the casinos early in the morning, usually before 6 a.m., show valid identification to casino employees, get a cash advance on a debit card issued by Fifth Third Bank, and quickly leave the casino.

Bolton, for example, obtained an $1,800 advance. Working with a Fifth Third investigator, Johnson learned that Bolton deposited a check for $2,986.52 into an account on Jan. 10, one day before her trip to Hoosier Park.

On Jan. 13, bank officials returned the check to a…

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