The arrests are the result of a three-month investigation regarding Identity Theft and Exploitation of the Infirmed.
The Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office was contacted in May 2013 when a report was filed alleging that an 85 year old female had began to receive telephone calls and account billing from numerous credit card companies.
The report indicated that the credit cards along with the victim’s bank account had been utilized without her consent.
The Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office Criminal Division issued subpoenas on the accounts and was able to document suspect transactions in excess of $ 25,000.00. The transactions occurred from 2012 through 2013. The victim indicated that she believed that the persons responsible for the transactions were in fact family members.
Upon further investigation Detectives took Frances Alfursan and Tonya Bass into custody on August 1, 2013. Both women were arrested and booked into the Vernon Parish Jail and were each charged with one count of Identity Theft and one count of Exploitation of the Infirmed. Total bond on each suspect was $ 25,000.00. Both posted bond and were released.
Sheriff Craft would like to take this opportunity to encourage elderly persons and their care givers to be vigilant when reviewing bank statements and any bills received by mail. Identity Theft is a problem throughout the nation and these persons tend to take advantage of senior citizens. Any suspicious transactions should be reported immediately to law enforcement.