Police Warn Of Fraud After City Billing Clerk Arrested For Stealing Credit Card Number

Wednesday, June 27th 2012, 9:42 pm
By: News 9

A city billing clerk was arrested Tuesday for using a resident's credit card number for her own personal gain. Now, police are warning the public that there could be more victims.

The Village wants residents to take a good look at their credit card statements. Police say they will not be surprised if they find more victims in a scam that happened at city hall.

6/27/2012 Related Story: City Employee Of The Village Accused Of Stealing Credit Card

The Village resident Naomi Mignone was about as hot as the temperature outside when she learned of the fraud on her credit card account.

"All I was doing was paying a bill, so I was really shocked," Mignone said.

The last time Mignone used her credit card was to pay for city trash service via telephone. That's when, police say, assistant billing clerk Ashley Marie Johnson wrote the credit card number down and almost instantly started a shopping spree on city computers.

"Unfortunately, in this case, the trust was broken," Deputy Chief Steve Jagosh of The Village police department said.

Mignone says her credit card company became suspicious after noticing the unusual spending, with purchases at WalMart.com and Chuck E Cheese's.

"[It was] just all kinds of random stuff," Mignone said. "[Johnson] was very busy."

On top of the online purchase, police say Johnson was foolish enough to use the credit card number to pay for bills and a municipal court fine in Johnson's own name. That helped police throw Johnson behind bars just hours after learning of the fraud.

"I never thought [the police] would get [it] done so quickly," said Mignone. "They worked really fast."

Police are reminding residents that it is a good idea to thoroughly check credit card statements.

"If [Mignone] wouldn't have checked her statement, we would have never known about this, and this could have gone on for years," Jagosh said.

Johnson was hired with The Village after passing a background check in October 2011. She was fired Tuesday. The city says if you live in The Village and have any questionable activity on credit card statements going back to October, call police at (405) 751-9564.

Read more about tips on ways to avoid credit card fraud.