Credit Union Social Media Fraud Earns Man Prison Time
A Pennsylvania man who used a popular social media site to steal more than $24,000 from the $4.1 billion Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union in Harrisburg has been sentenced to serve three to six months in prison.
Masharad Tunis Carter, 24, of Lower Paxton Township, Pa., was also sentenced Tuesday in 60 months of probation after pleading guilty to 51 felony counts of theft, fraud, conspiracy and forgery.
From December 2012 to November 2013, Carter posted on the popular social networking site Instagram a photo of dozens of $100 bills, claiming he could get PSECU account holders “free money” by providing their ATM card and pin numbers to him, according to Pennsylvania District Attorney Joel Hogentogler.
On as least 181 transactions, Carter deposited stolen or closed account checks into individual PSECU accounts and immediately withdrew large sums of money. Prosecutors said each solicited account holder who was complicit in this scheme received several hundred dollars and Carter kept a percentage of the stolen funds.
In nearly all cases, the account holders would then file a false report with police that their ATM cards had been stolen, lost or misplaced. On Feb. 19, seven of the account holders were charged with filing false police reports, theft and conspiracy. Police are investigating other suspected account holders.
The charges and conviction of Carter resulted from an extensive multiple department investigation by the Dauphin County Criminal Investigation Division and PSECU loss prevention officers.