SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) -- Nine people have been charged with defrauding dozens of residents at assisted living facilities in South Carolina, investigators said.
According to the Spartanburg Sheriff's Office, 45 residents from Summit Hills, Woodland place and the Charles Lea Center lost more than $100,000 collectively, CBS affiliate WSPA reported.
WSPA reported that the victims were tipped off when they started getting bills in May 2019 for mobile phones they hadn't purchased.
Officials dubbed it a "criminal enterprise," involving the re-selling of smart phones.
“I’ve been here 31 years and we’ve never had anything like this before,” said Lt. Kevin Bobo of the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office.
Investigators said one of the suspects, 27-year-old Tamara Marqueeshia Shardana Taylor, worked at all three facilities. They said Taylor confessed to taking pictures of the residents' intake sheets, which had their birth dates and social security numbers, and sending them to another suspect, 25-year-old Joshua Jonathan Rashaad Glenn.
Deputies said Taylor told them Glen paid her $20 per picture.
“It blew me away. I mean I can’t believe that somebody would actually do something like that. We work with some vulnerable people who many people would consider some of the most vulnerable people in South Carolina," said Gerald Bernard, chief executive officer of the Charles Lea Center.
He added that Taylor had cleared a background check before she was hired and has been fired.
“Unfortunately every once in a while you run into something like this and we have no tolerance for that,” Bernard said.
According to WSPA, deputies said Glenn would take the residents' information to Walmart stores and a Target in Spartanburg and would then pay third party Verizon or AT&T representatives to "force" the identification portion of wireless phone contracts.
WSPA said the representatives would use the victims' information and Glenn would leave the stores with one to five phones.
“He would pay them to open up a fraudulent account,” Lt. Bobo said.
Deputies said Glenn posted to Facebook, asking for assisted living facility employees to contact him, and recruited seven people through it.
WSPA reported that a judge approved 201 warrants for nine suspects, charging them with either financial identity fraud and/or exploitation of a vulnerable adult.
Taylor and Glenn were each charged with financial identity fraud and exploitation of a vulnerable adult for all 45 victims, investigators said.
Eight of the suspects have been arrested, but Glenn is still at large.
- Dushawn Michael Woodson, 38, of Spartanburg, worked as a Verizon and AT&T representative at Target.
- Tiffany Marie Griffith, 31, of Spartanburg, was a Target employee.
- Tamara Shante Carson, 29, of Inman.
- Clifford Ulyess Brown, 24, of Wellford.
- Malik Divine Gray, 23, of Inman, was a Verizon representative at Walmart.
- Rajshunda Chenell Ojayeria Holmes, 20, of Spartanburg.
- Tamara Marqueeshia Shardana Taylor, 27, of Spartanburg.
- Davien Montrell Rodgers, Sr., 23, of Taylors, SC, worked as a Verizon representative at Walmart.
The sheriff's office told WSPA that they had identified five additional potential suspects.
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