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RESERVED FOR THE NEXT
DEFENDANT TO BE CUFFED

 TEXAS DETECTIVE FINDS HIS FUGITIVE 
IN CUFF DATABASE AND DISCOVERS OTHER UNKNOWN WARRANTS IN FLORIDA

05/04
           
An Austin, TX detective discovered a fugitive he was researching in the CUFF database and contacted CUFF to advise of the subject's capture in Louisiana in April 2004.  
          The fugitive, Christopher Lee Luther, who had been in the CUFF database since 9/03 for a Florida warrant for theft, was wanted in multiple states for fraud, including the fraud which was being investigated by the Austin detective.
          The Austin detective did not know about the Florida warrant, so CUFF contacted the investigating detective in Volusia County, FL to deliver the good news. 
Read More

EBAY SCAMMER ARRESTED AFTER VICTIMS NETWORK TO HELP 
POLICE FIND HER

03/04
         
  A North Carolina Internet retailer was arrested in early March 2004 with the help of victims who had been defrauded out of thousands of dollars by the online scammer who sold fake designer clothing on eBay and through her Web site.
       Tammy Nesmith, 35, was arrested at her job in Cary, NC after an Alabama victim was contacted by another victim who said she knew where Nesmith was working.  The two victims contacted the police and the scammer was promptly picked up and taken to jail. 
Read More

EX-GIRLFRIEND OBTAINS JUDGMENT PRO SE IN MINNESOTA, THEN FILES LIEN ONLINE AGAINST DEFENDANT'S FLORIDA LAND


01/04

       A woman who obtained a $12,000+ judgment pro se against a Florida man with whom she had a brief long-distance relationship was able to file a lien online against his Florida real estate because she had been awarded a civil judgment against him in her home county in Minnesota.
      Because the plaintiff had used the court system to successfully obtain a judgment against the defendant, she was able to utilize the Internet lien filing form provided by Florida.  And in order to determine the value of the vacant land he owned, the victim used the Internet to check out the land's..
.Real More

SWEETHEART SCAM ARTIST IS  PUT ON CRIME STOPPERS AND FEDS FILE CHARGE


01/04 
    

        A sweetheart scam artist who conned a Washington State woman out of over $100,000 was identified by CUFF as a fugitive with a warrant for theft in Montana after the victim contacted us for help in the spring of 2003.  Norman Benoit, 44, was using an alias when he met his victim and over a period of a year-and-a-half, he successfully convinced her to let him invest her money in "rare" coins.
  She willingly agreed as Benoit had promised marriage and appeared to be an ambitious, hard-working graduate student and self-employed language translator.  Read More

VICTIM REPRESENTS HERSELF IN  COURT, WINS, AND DEFENDANT'S BANK ACCOUNT IS SEIZED


12/03

       
A California woman used the court system as it was meant to be used: she sued her ex-boyfriend for $14,000, won a judgment and then filed the papers to have the sheriff serve the defendant's bank with an order to freeze his account.  The victim received a check for what was in the account and her boyfriend learned the hard way that it isn't only the IRS that can freeze your assets if you don't pay what you legally owe.  And her research for the case produced information that convinced the county prosecutor to investigate her former boyfriend for other frauds.  (See Straight Shooter ID NO. 942)

 CUFF IDENTIFIES "APPRENTICE" CON ARTIST AS  FUGITIVE USING AN ALIAS


09/03

     
The true identity of a budding con artist was uncovered by CUFF after he defrauded a young, single mother in Florida in the summer of 2003 while using an alias.
     Christopher Lee Luther, 32, convinced the victim to let him use his stockbroker skills to invest her $12,000, which she willingly did even though she had only known him for a short time.
      As soon as she had withdrawn her funds..
.Read More

CUFF MEMBERS HELP BAIL BONDSMAN FIND SKIP IN ANOTHER STATE


06/03

         An Indiana bail bondsman was able to capture one of his skips after CUFF members provided him with the fugitive's address which they uncovered in court documents in another state.  The skip had been tried and convicted for another crime in North Carolina after fleeing Indiana. The address enabled the bondsman to find the skip and bring him back to Indiana for trial. ( See Straight Shooter ID NO.  828)

FLIMFLAM MAN CAPTURED BY FBI FOLLOWING CROSS-COUNTRY SCAM SPREE OVER TEN STATES


02/03

    
   The successful apprehension of Gerald Drexal Rogers, Jr. in Springdale, Ohio on 2/12/03 ended two years of searching by members of a Kentucky family who were defrauded by Rogers and nearly eleven months by CUFF members and police officers in multiple jurisdictions across the U.S....Read More 

CUFF TRACKS CAREER CON ARTIST AND POLICE ARREST HIM FOR 1994 WARRANT


10/02

      CUFF members helped two small business owners track down a former employee who had stolen and embezzled over $100,000 from them personally and from their business in a fraud scheme in 1998.   Following an odyssey that had taken him through six states and two identity changes...Read More
  

CIVIL SUIT AWARDED AGAINST RENT 
SCAM ARTIST - THOUGH NO ONE 
KNEW HIS WHEREABOUTS


09/02

  
     In some states, street-smart tenants can literally get away with theft because writing a bad check for rent is not a prosecutable crime. It is considered a landlord/tenant dispute. CUFF members helped the attorney of a large rental property in Michigan verify the identity of a tenant that was used to file a civil law suit for delinquent rent though the tenant had fled the state and had no known address... Read More

EMPLOYER USES  COURT JUDGMENT 
TO OBTAIN SUBPOENA FOR 
THIEF'S CELL PHONE RECORDS


7/02

      CUFF members worked with a small business owner to file a suit against a partner who disappeared with over $30,000 in equipment belonging to the company...
Read More

VEHICLE STOLEN BY FRIEND RECOVERED AND COURT JUDGMENT OBTAINED


06/02 

        When an individual's vehicle is stolen by a good friend, such as a live-in mate, frequently a prosecutor will deem it a civil issue simply because the thief could claim he or she had permission to drive it.   So the thief can actually drive the car out of the state, never make a payment on any outstanding loans and never be charged criminally...Read More

MAN WHO GAVE CON ARTIST HIS ID 
TO HELP  IN SCAM NOW HAS 
JUDGMENT AGAINST HIS NAME


 
04/02
          
A New York man had the tables turned on him when two business partners successfully obtained two separate judgments against him as a result of a scam in which he willingly gave his name, social security number and driver's license number to a con artist friend...Read More

FRIEND WHO SOLD CAR TO 
CON ARTIST OBTAINS JUDGMENT 
AND DISCOVERS WARRANT


03/02
 

     
     A woman who agreed to sell a car to a friend on a one-year repayment note discovered after signing over the title that the "friend" had no intention of repaying her the amount owed.  In fact, he slipped out of town within a week...Read More

 

eBay Scammer Arrested after Victims Network to Help Police Find Her in NC

        A North Carolina Internet retailer was arrested in early March 2004 with the help of victims who had been defrauded out of thousands of dollars by the online scammer who sold fake designer clothing on eBay and through her Web site.

        Tammy Nesmith, 35, was arrested at her job in Cary, NC after an Alabama victim was contacted by another victim who said she knew where Nesmith was working.  The victims contacted the police and the scammer was promptly picked up and taken to jail.

        Two of Nesmith's victims had contacted CUFF in November 2003 to report her scams and seek help in locating her and researching her background since she had disappeared after being contacted by the Garner, NC Police.  CUFF learned that she had an outstanding warrant for grand theft in California and had used a different name from the one the victims knew her by.  This information was passed on to the Garner Police and she was published in the CUFF database as a fugitive with a warrant.  The five North Carolina charges are for obtaining property by false pretense.  Police say there are numerous victims of Nesmith and several of them lost nearly $5,000 to Nesmith. 

        Fortunately for the victims and the Garner and Cary, NC PD, Nesmith chose to stay in town rather than flee the state because neither the North Carolina nor the California warrants were extraditable.  That means she could have easily slipped across the border and continued selling counterfeit clothing until that jurisdiction finally caught up with her and issued charges.

        Because the victims never gave up on finding her and continued to network with each other, Nesmith was located and arrested...showing once again that by working together, victims have succeeded in obtaining justice.

       See Straight Shooter ID NO. 918 to view the record and photo of Tammy Lachelle Nesmith.

       Read
article on Nesmith's arrest

 
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Ex-Girlfriend Obtains Judgment in Minnesota, 
Then Files Lien Online Against Defendant's Florida Land
       A woman who obtained a $12,000+ judgment against a Florida man with whom she had a brief long-distance relationship was able to file a lien online against his Florida real estate because she had been awarded a civil judgment against him in her home county in Minnesota.

       Because the plaintiff had used the court system to successfully obtain a judgment against the defendant in Minnesota, she was able to utilize the Internet lien filing form provided by Florida - for free.  And in order to determine the value of the vacant land he owned, the victim used the Internet to check out the land's value by going to the county assessor's Web site and then to the developer's Web site where she could even see photos of available sites.

       This victim, who had met the defendant through long-distant business contacts over the phone, realized too late that her new boyfriend appeared to be using her as a lending institution.  Even though she tried to convince the police in Minnesota that he had knowingly deceived her out of the money, they told her it was a civil issue and declined to investigate.  So, she knew she would only obtain justice if she used the court system against him, which she did successfully.

       She contacted CUFF to determine if he had other civil judgments and criminal convictions that might convince the police to reconsider.  While CUFF's research did not produce a criminal history, ironically, we did discover that a civil judgment for $5,000 had been paid off a few months after the victim had given him money that was supposed to have been used to benefit both of them.  The money she had given him was more than enough to pay off the $5,000 judgment.  Now he has another judgment recorded in Florida, thanks to this victim's perseverance and intelligent use of the court system and Internet.

       See Straight Shooter ID NO. 978 to view the civil judgment information of Carroll Maddox, Jr.
      
 
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CUFF IDENTIFIES CON ARTIST AS A FUGITIVE USING AN ALIAS -
THE BOOK, "HOW TO BECOME A SUCCESSFUL CON ARTIST" 
 FOUND IN HIS ROOM AFTER HE FLEES

05/04 - UPDATE

      
An Austin, TX detective discovered a fugitive he was researching in the CUFF database and contacted CUFF to advise of the subject's capture in Louisiana in April 2004. The fugitive, Christopher Lee Luther, who had been in the CUFF database since 9/03 for a Florida warrant for larceny, was wanted in multiple states for fraud, including the fraud which was being investigated by the Austin detective. 

     The Austin detective did not know about the Florida warrant, so CUFF contacted the investigating detective in Volusia County, FL to deliver the good news.  The detective told CUFF that there were other jurisdictions in Florida with warrants for Luther as well.  Luther also had an outstanding probation violation warrant in Texas for burglary and a Texas warrant for theft by check.

     Luther was originally entered in the CUFF database in 9/03 for the Florida warrant which was issued after he defrauded a single mother (read below) out of approximately $12,000.  Some of the frauds and theft charges he is wanted on occurred after he fled with the $12,000 belonging to the Florida victim.


09/03
    
The true identity of a budding con artist was uncovered by CUFF after he defrauded a young, single mother in Florida in 7/2003 while using an alias. Christopher Lee Luther, 32, convinced the victim to let him use his stockbroker skills to invest her $12,000, which she willingly did even though she had only known him for a short time.  As soon as she had withdrawn her funds he disappeared in her rented car. 

     Several weeks later he was located in South Carolina where he had rented a basement room in a home.  The car had been tracked by the repo company through the GPS.  Although the car was recovered, Luther had fled when the police showed up at his residence and he never returned to collect his belongings.  According to the landlord, the only thing he took was a briefcase...which no doubt contained the victim's money.  When the authorities went through his belongings to find clues, they discovered indisputable evidence of premeditated fraud - the book, "How to Become a Successful Con Artist."

     The young mother had known Luther under an alias, but his true identity was uncovered by CUFF from information he left behind which contained addresses of his family.  Not only was he not a stockbroker, but he had an outstanding probation violation warrant in Texas for burglary and a 1998 warrant for theft in Florida under his real name, Christopher Luther.  The Jacksonville PD were able to charge Luther with the new charges under his correct name.

     See Straight Shooter ID NO. 881 to view the record and photo of Christopher Lee Luther. 

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SWEETHEART SCAM ARTIST IS PUT ON CRIME STOPPERS
 AND THE U.S. GOVERNMENT FILES CHARGES 
WITH THE HELP OF HIS VICTIM AND CUFF      
 

 

      A sweetheart scam artist who conned a Washington State woman out of over $100,000 was identified as a fugitive with a warrant for fraud in Montana after the victim contacted CUFF for help in the spring of 2003.  Norman Benoit, 44, was using an alias when he met his victim and over a period of a year-and-a-half he successfully convinced her to let him invest her money in "rare" coins.  She willingly agreed as Benoit had promised marriage and appeared to be an ambitious, hard-working graduate student and self-employed language translator.

      Benoit, who speaks English, Vietnamese and French, fled Washington State in April 2003 when the victim confronted him with her growing suspicions about his intentions.  Within two weeks, Benoit closed his checking account, turned off his cell phone, vacated his apartment without giving notice and fled the area.

       By the time the victim contacted CUFF, she had learned from a P.I. in Washington that Benoit was not who he said he was, but that was all she could find out.  As she began to have her "rare" coins appraised by coin dealers, she was appalled to hear over and over that the coins were worth far less than the value shown on the receipts that Benoit had given her.  And when she went to the coin dealers printed on the receipts, she was even more appalled to learn that the receipts had been forged.  Benoit had managed to print forged receipts for the coins and pocket the difference between his fabricated value on the receipts and the actual value.

      When she took this information to the police, charges were filed against Benoit, which she thought would spur a serious investigation into Benoit's whereabouts so he could be brought to trail for fraud and forgery.  Unfortunately, she learned, as most victims of con artists do, that was not to be the case.  In fact, in one of her frustrated conversations with the police detective, she was told that the search for this fugitive would be limited to him being "be picked up at a traffic stop someday." 


       That was when she came to CUFF.  Within about a week, CUFF research revealed that the man she had known as Michele Benott, who had legally changed his name in Washington State in 1998 to Dean Morgan, was actually one Norman Benoit, a fugitive with a 1991 probation violation warrant for theft in Montana.  But there was an even bigger after shock - Benoit was married and his wife was with him when he fled Washington in 2003.  In fact, she had been with him during the entire scam...AND she, too, has an alias and a second social security number.

       By providing a continual flow of information to the police agencies handling the Montana and Washington cases, CUFF and the victim have successfully managed to transform this case from an innocuous "traffic stop level" crime to having Benoit featured on King County, WA's Crime Stoppers and having a King County prosecutor tell the victim that "we are going to get this guy."  

       In January 2004, the federal government became the third law enforcement jurisdiction to charge Benoit with fraud.  And this happened only because of information provided to the feds that may never have been uncovered if fraud victims hadn't united under the CUFF umbrella.  With these latest charges and the influence of the feds, it is only a matter of time before Benoit is found and incarcerated.  If he serves his full sentences, he will be in jail for over two decades. 

        See SS ID NO. 849 to view the record and photo of Norman Benoit.


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FLIMFLAM MAN CAPTURED BY FBI FOLLOWING
CROSS-COUNTRY SCAM SPREE OVER TEN STATES

 

     The successful apprehension of Gerald Drexal Rogers, Jr. in Springdale, Ohio on 2/12/03 ended two years of searching by members of a Kentucky family who were defrauded by Rogers and nearly eleven months by CUFF members and police officers in multiple jurisdictions across the U.S.

     The apprehension and arrest was made as a result of efforts led by the FBI.  Information provided to them by victims and police in Germantown, TN where Rogers pulled a rent scam in January 2003 in addition to anonymous tips enabled the agency to find and arrest him within a few weeks once they put their resources to work.  CUFF has spoken to the FBI case agent and we can't laud her and the other agents enough for their conscientiousness and competence.

   Jessica Evans, the 22-year-old daughter of the Kentucky family who was defrauded by Rogers in 2001 and who had been reported missing by her family, was found with Rogers in Ohio and returned safely to her home.

   It was Sarah Farris of Kentucky, the aunt of Jessica Evans and the sister of the Kentucky woman defrauded by Rogers, who initiated the search for Rogers in early 2001.  She was able to sleuth her way through an unconnected string of data that eventually led her to the real identity of Gerald Rogers, a man who had appeared out of nowhere in late 2000 and convinced Jessica that he was a Hollywood agent who could make her a star.  Over the ensuing months, Jessica's parents "loaned" Rogers tens of thousands of dollars to help Jessica's career plans.  When the family finally realized they were dealing with a con artist, Rogers disappeared with Jessica in tow.  By then the family was financially devastated by Rogers' fraud.

   Since March 2002, when Farris contacted CUFF via the Web site, members have worked closely with her and her family providing research and encouragement, contacting law enforcement jurisdictions that had been hit by Rogers, tracking down victims and initiating publicity in the local press where Rogers was wanted for his scams.

  Read Story at WLEX-T
V, Lexington, KY Online

 
  It was the family's persistence that led to the FBI's involvement in July 2002 with the attachment of the Unlawful Flight to Avoid Prosecution charge to the Florida Grand Theft warrant. And it was the UFAP warrant that gave the feds a reason to apply their resources which ultimately ended his scam spree.  

   The search for Rogers led through at least 15 states and 41 jurisdictions as CUFF members and Jessica's family used the Internet and police agencies used the NCIC to follow his scams.  However, for nearly a year, he was always one town or one state ahead of the law - until February 12, 2003 when justice was finally served.

   As a result of information in Rogers' Straight Shooter database record, the Germantown, TN landlord was able to convince local police that the rent scam was premeditated, just like in other states, and was not a civil landlord/tenant dispute.  Rogers is being charged with Theft of Services for the scam.

   Rogers faces charges in so many jurisdictions that it will be many, many years before he is free to prey on unsuspecting victims again.  And when he is released, suspicious victims can search the Straight Shooter database where they will find his criminal history and mug shot - even if he changes his name again.

   The successful apprehension of Rogers demonstrates that citizens can play an important part in finding fugitives - by communicating via the Internet and sharing the information they obtain with law enforcement.   And it shows the value of a fugitive database that citizens can search to identify suspicious characters.  If the Tennessee landlord had known about the Straight Shooter Web site before Rogers disappeared, she could have found him, read about his record and called the police on the spot.  If  Rogers had been in the database when the Kentucky family began "loaning" him money and they had searched for him there, how many victims would have been spared the devastation of his thefts over the past two years.  A quick phone call to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement would have quickly terminated any of his future schemes.

  
See STRAIGHT SHOOTER NUMBER 267 to view the record and photo of Gerald Drexal Rogers, Jr.  The Florida criminal record of this fugitive can also be viewed on the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Web site.  Enter his DC # X13999 to produce his record.
 
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CUFF TRACKS CON ARTIST WITH 18-YEAR
 CRIMINAL HISTORY AND POLICE ARREST HIM FOR 1994 
PAROLE VIOLATION WARRANT FOR THEFT, DRUGS, FRAUD


     CUFF members helped two small business owners track down a former employee who had stolen and embezzled over $100,000 from them personally and from their business in a fraud scheme in 1998.   Following an odyssey that had taken him through six states and two identity changes, the employee was finally arrested in the St. Louis, MO area in early October 2002 when CUFF members showed the police proof that he had used another person's name and social security number to obtain state ID's, bank accounts and vehicle registrations.


   When the police went to the man's residence and asked him to provide his true identity, he insisted that he was the person he had been masquerading as since 1996 - Walter Thomas Nemecek. 


   When the police showed him the evidence provided by CUFF members that proved he could not be Walter Thomas Nemecek, he reluctantly admitted he wasn't, but told the police that he didn't have to tell them who he was.


   He was arrested for lying to the police and taken to the police precinct where he was fingerprinted.  Within a short time, he gave in to the inevitable and revealed his true identity to be Joseph Dixon Acheson, Jr.  An NCIC search revealed an outstanding 1994 Florida warrant for his arrest for parole violation on charges of Grand Theft, Uttering Forgery, Attempted Sale or Purchase of Cocaine and Check Fraud.  


   A criminal history search revealed that Mr. Acheson had been in jail or prison at least five times since 1985 serving time for 29 separate charges that included assault, burglary, fraud, grand theft, grand theft auto, forgery, drug use and resisting arrest, all occurring in the Palm Beach, Florida area where he was raised.

   When located, Mr. Acheson was found living with a man who had an outstanding warrant in California for probation violation for drug use.  Both men had been unemployed since December 2001 when they were fired for insubordination by the owner of a carpet company.


   Mr. Acheson was extradited to Florida where he is now serving the remaining time on his original sentence.  He is currently scheduled for release from prison in November 2007. 


   Although the two business owners had originally reported the 1998 theft to the police and had urged prosecution for fraud, the prosecutor had declined on the basis of a forged contract faxed to the police detective by the con man six months after the theft.  The police detective had given some credibility to the con man's account of the theft and recommended to the prosecutor that it be regarded as a civil issue.  He even told the business partners that the assumed name of the former employee had no bearing on the incident, even if he had used it to apply for his job.

   As a result of this, this police detective lost the opportunity twice over the next two years to ID him through fingerprints - once in his own precinct and once when the police in Utah called to ask him if they should force the con man to prove his identity since a local company had reported that he had stolen two valuable company manuals when he left abruptly after a few weeks of employment in the summer of 1999.

   CUFF members had traced the con man to Utah and had learned about the theft by talking to personnel in a homeless shelter where he had lived briefly. After talking to the employer who had reported the theft, CUFF members learned that the con man had altered his ID and vehicle registration.  A few days after CUFF members had spoken to this business owner, the con man and his associate were discovered living in a low-rent motel in the same town.  When the Utah police called to discuss the situation with the detective who had been working the case, they were told not to force the con man to divulge his identity. 

  
Even though the Utah police knew the full story and knew about the manual theft, they chose not to arrest the con man for lying to the police.  They were able to retrieve the stolen manuals which were in plain view in the motel room and which were replete with fingerprints.  However, instead of running the prints through the system, they returned the manuals to the owner and considered the case closed. 

   Within an hour, the con man and his associate had fled Utah and were off to seek another safe haven in another unsuspecting hamlet.  It later turned out that the business partners' equipment had been stored in a storage garage in this Utah town.  Sometime within the next few months, the con man and his associate quietly returned and loaded it all on a U-Haul truck and again disappeared.

   As a result of this detective's decision to ignore the common sense evidence presented by the business owners, the con man was able to continue his lifestyle of fraud and deception for another four years.  During that time, he bounced a $2,100 check written to the dying mother of a friend  for repayment of a temporary loan, stole valuable employee manuals from the employer in Utah and ran up unpaid traffic tickets in the name of the man whose identity he had been using since 1996.  These are, of course, only the known damages.

    Based on the con man's extensive criminal history, it is clear that his specialty is fraud and forgery.  CUFF members have learned that for the past six years since he assumed his new identity, he has attempted to convince every employer he worked for to sign some kind of a business agreement with him.  He has clearly learned that a written agreement is the Achilles heel of fraud prosecution and he has used it well when provided the opportunity.


   When he was finally arrested for his parole violation in Missouri, his lifestyle indicated that all the money he had stolen from the two business partners had been spent and all of the equipment had been pawned or sold.  Within a short time, if past is indeed prologue, he would have been seeking new "opportunities" to replenish his dwindling "cash flow."  CUFF members, with the assistance of perceptive St. Charles, MO policemen, eliminated that need when he was identified and jailed and justice was finally served.


   See STRAIGHT SHOOTER ID NUMBER 359 to view the record and photo of Joseph D. Acheson, Jr..  The Florida criminal record of this fugitive can also be viewed on the
Florida Department of Law Enforcement Web Site.  Enter his DC # 658767 to produce his record.

   Read about the accomplice who gave Mr. Acheson his name in 1996 and who now has a civil judgment for over $10,000 against him as a result of the scam.
Click Here.

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MAN WHO GAVE CON ARTIST HIS ID TO HELP  IN SCAM
ENDS UP WITH JUDGMENT AGAINST HIS NAME



   
 
A New York man had the tables turned on him when two business partners successfully obtained two separate judgments against him as a result of a scam in which he willingly gave his name, social security number and driver's license number to a con artist friend.  For reasons still unknown, this man had agreed to give up his ID sometime in the mid-1990's so his new "friend" could get a job.   This "friend" who appeared out of nowhere managed to con this unsuspecting janitor into believing that the identity change would benefit both of them.  

     Using the new name, the con artist worked for about one-and-a-half years in his profession as a carpet installer and cleaner until he was hired by a Nevada company in 1998.  The con artist took nearly a year to set up a scam that would enable him to disappear overnight with approximately $100,000 in property and money belonging to the business.  He convinced the owners to sign an employee contract to "protect" all parties.  Ironically, it was the contract that was used by the police as a reason not to prosecute the con artist.  

    
By serving the con artist via publication under the name he had used to sign the contracts the two owners were able to obtain two judgments in April 2002.   Since some of the property stolen had been the personal property of one of the owners, it was possible to obtain the two separate judgments - one for the personal property and one for the business property. 

     Research on their whereabouts done by CUFF members revealed that within a year the '"twins" had parted ways.  Unsubstantiated information indicated that the janitor had been forced to seek honest employment in his home state of New York.  Fortunately for the two business owners, this person has many years of employment ahead of him, for when he is located, they will be garnisheeing his wages until all the awarded money is repaid.  

See STRAIGHT SHOOTER NUMBER  113 to view the civil judgment information and photo of Walter Thomas Nemecek.


  
   The identity of the unknown con artist who "borrowed" the janitor's name was learned in early October 2002 when he was arrested in the St. Louis, MO area after CUFF members located him and called the police. Although he initially refused to tell the police who he was, once his fingerprints were taken, he recognized that he had finally hit a dead end and admitted to being Joseph Dixon Acheson, Jr. who had an outstanding 1994 warrant in Florida for parole violation of six charges of theft, fraud and attempted cocaine sale or purchase.

A criminal history search prior to 1994 revealed previous incarcerations for 29 separate charges of fraud, forgery, theft, drugs, burglary, assault and resisting arrest dating back to 1985 when he was 19 years old. 

He told the police that the real Walter Thomas Nemecek had taken a bus back to New York several years earlier and he hadn't heard from him since.  This has not yet been collaborated.

See STRAIGHT SHOOTER NUMBER 359 to view the record and photo of Joseph Dixon Acheson, Jr.  Click here to read the details of  the capture.

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VEHICLE STOLEN BY FRIEND RECOVERED,
 JUDGMENT OBTAINED

 

     When an individual's vehicle is stolen by a good friend, such as a live-in mate, frequently a prosecutor will deem it a civil issue simply because the thief could claim he or she had permission to drive it.   So the thief can actually drive the car out of the state, never make a payment on any outstanding loans and never be charged criminally.


     CUFF members helped a woman track down her boyfriend who had stolen her truck and driven it across country with a new girlfriend. The police considered it to be a civil issue even though there was an outstanding loan of over $10,000 on the vehicle, none of which was paid by the boyfriend during the 18 months he drove it.   Ironically, the victim was told by the credit company that she was liable for the loan because a stolen vehicle report had not been filed.


     CUFF members tracked down the boyfriend and tipped off the credit company who repossessed the vehicle from his driveway in June 2002.  The victim was told by the credit company that under the circumstances she was not liable for the difference between the amount owed and the price received at auction.  However, her credit was ruined since she could not afford to make the payments during the time the boyfriend was in possession of the truck.  She filed a civil suit against the boyfriend in small claims court so there will be a record of the event available to those who check his credit report and each year that the judgment is not paid, additional interest is added to the amount owed.  One day the boyfriend will be required to pay off the judgment in order to buy a home or obtain a loan, possibly even to get a good job.

See STRAIGHT SHOOTER NUMBER 251 to view the civil judgment information and photo of Frank Walker, Jr.

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EMPLOYER USES COURT JUDGMENT TO
OBTAIN SUBPOENA FOR THIEF'S CELL PHONE RECORDS

     
 
     CUFF members worked with a small business owner to file a suit against a partner who disappeared with over $30,000 in equipment belonging to the company.  Even though the company was a corporation and all of the assets had been invested by the business owner, even though this partner had been with the company for less than a year and even though the property had been taken out of the state and hidden where the damaged partner could not find it - AND even though research revealed that this partner had a criminal history for drug use and had stolen money from previous "partners," the prosecutor declined to issue charges because of the partnership agreement.  And they also forewarned the business owner that even if he knew where the property was, he would be breaking the law himself if he removed it from a vehicle or storage garage belonging to the partner who took it.

      Justice was finally obtained in July 2002 when the business owner used the power of subpoena provided by a court judgment to obtain the cell phone records of the partner who had fled the state. And he obtained copies of the checks written by the partner for the cell phone bills. By filing a foreign judgment in the state where the partner had fled, the business owner was able to have the sheriff in that county seize the partner's property and garnishee his bank account. 

      The dollar amount seized was the total of the original judgment plus two year's interest plus all court costs, including the foreign judgment fees. 

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CIVIL SUIT AWARDED AGAINST RENT SCAM ARTIST
EVEN THOUGH NO ONE KNEW WHERE HE WAS

     In some states, street-smart tenants can literally get away with theft because writing a bad check for rent is not a prosecutable crime. It is considered a landlord/tenant dispute. CUFF members helped the attorney of a large rental property in Michigan verify the identity of a tenant that was used to file a civil law suit for delinquent rent though the tenant had fled the state and had no known address.

     This $5,000.00 judgment, awarded in September 2002, is now on the thief's credit report where any future landlord or creditor will be forewarned about his free rent scam.  

    However, fortunately for other landlords, this con artist will not be an immediate threat since he was captured by the FBI on 2/12/03 in Ohio after he fled Germantown, TN where he had pulled a rent scam on another landlord..  He was sentenced to 36 months in a Florida prison for a 2002 grand theft charge.  
     
   See STRAIGHT SHOOTER NUMBER 267 for the details and photo of Gerald Drexal Rogers, Jr., a career criminal who was arrested on a grand theft warrant out of Florida and who was being sought by police in over 41 jurisdictions for multiple scams on retail businesses.
  
The Florida criminal record of this fugitive can also be viewed on the  Florida Department of Law Enforcement Web site.  Enter his DC # X13999 to produce his record.    

    
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FRIEND WHO SOLD CAR TO CON ARTIST OBTAINS
JUDGMENT AND DISCOVERS WARRANT

      A woman who agreed to sell a car to a friend on a one-year repayment note discovered after signing over the title that the "friend" had no intention of repaying her the amount owed.  In fact, he slipped out of town within a week.  The police told her it was a civil issue because she had willingly signed over the car.  Even if she had been cautious enough to place a lien on the vehicle, it would still not have been a criminal matter because the con artist did not "steal" it.  

     With the help of CUFF members, this woman obtained a judgment in March 2002 by serving the thief via publication using his last known address - the one that appeared on the note.   In the course of researching his whereabouts, the victim discovered an outstanding warrant in Pomona, California for violation of probation for drug charges.  When the victim finds the thief, she will have the legal papers that allow her to use the system to seize his property and attach his paycheck or bank account AND she can contact the police regarding the warrant.  

     Research also turned up the fact that the thief had recently received a sizeable inheritance following his mother's death.  So the victim knows assets are available when she finds him. 

See STRAIGHT SHOOTER NUMBER 12 to view the civil judgment information and photo of Steffan Hallburn.

 
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