While purchasing a car over the past two years has become more difficult for many people, there are still right and wrong ways to go about the process.
A California woman is one of four people accused of trying to fraudulently obtain vehicles using an elderly Dawson County couple’s banking information.
This story continues below.
Jazmine Ranae Wheeler, 28, of Sacramento, California was apprehended by the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office at 10 p.m. on Sept. 16, according to the agency’s weekly news report.
After Wheeler’s arrest, she was booked into custody at the Dawson County Detention Center.
The other three suspects, who are also from California, are in custody and in the process of being transported back to Georgia, Dawson County Sheriff Jeff Johnson said on Sept. 22.
In June, grand jurors in Dawson County indicted Wheeler, Brandon Phillip Raible, Austin William Reid and Bradley Scott Wismar on various charges relating to the allegations, according to Dawson County Superior Court documents.
Arrest orders were issued for each of the defendants back in July.
Raible is accused of trying to use one of the victims’ checking account number to buy a BMW X-5 SUV on Feb. 6, 2022, the indictment stated.
Wheeler allegedly used a victim’s checking information on Feb. 12 to supposedly write a counterfeit check of $35,096.57 to CarMax for a 2017 Mercedes C300 sedan, according to the indictment and her DCSO warrants.
The indictment states Wismar allegedly tried to use that checking number to obtain a 2020 Toyota Tacoma and also stole more than $25,000 from one of the victims on Feb. 13.
Then, Raible and Reid are both accused of attempting to use that same information in order to purchase a motorcycle on Feb. 17.
Raible has also been accused of obtaining one of the victims’ banking account number and statement on Feb. 23 with the intent to use that information fraudulently.
Wheeler has been charged with one felony count each of identity fraud, criminal attempt to commit theft by taking and exploiting, threatening or intimidating a disabled or elderly person.
She is still being held at the Dawson County jail without bond.
DCSO charged Raible with three counts of identity fraud and Reid with one count of that offense. Wismar received one charge each for identity fraud, theft by taking and exploiting an elderly person.
In his email to DCN, Sheriff Johnson explained that fraud cases are “unfortunately becoming more and more prevalent.”
“Although locally, we do not experience many cases where multiple suspects use the same illegally-obtained information, it is not a rare occurrence,” Johnson said.
“Whenever online personal information is compromised, there are those who are lying in wait to take advantage of others. We urge our community to take the necessary steps to guard their information, as well as continually monitoring it for any signs of fraudulent activity.”