BATON ROUGE, La. State Police announced the arrest of several people related to cases of identity theft, according to a release from State Police.
'In all of the cases, bank accounts belonging to victims were compromised, and their account information was utilized on counterfeit checks. These counterfeit checks were cashed at various retail outlets throughout Louisiana as well as in states such as Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. A common theme among most of the victims involved was determined to be checks written to the Louisiana State University Hospital System,' said a statement from State Police spokesman Trooper Jared Sandifer.
Most victims made a payment to the LSU Hospital System before their bank accounts became compromised, according to State Police. Even Washington Parish Sheriff Randy Seals and his wife were victims of the fraud.
Seal's office began an investigation, according to State Police, after several residents from Washington Parish were victims of the fraud.
'Through investigative efforts, Detectives learned that (Meshaune) Wilson and (Valencia) Paul purchased the counterfeit checks and ID cards from an individual named Tammy Matthews of Baton Rouge,' said Sandifer. 'They also learned that (Pamela) Reams is employed in the billing department at the LSU Hospital System and has access to several financial databases.'
On Nov. 20, authorities executed search warrant searches at the homes of Reams and Matthews, finding copies of checks from LSU Heath System database and fake ID cards.
'Reams admitted to Detectives that the fraudulent documents were obtained from the LSU Hospital System databases, and that all of the account numbers on the documents were used to create counterfeit checks. Reams explained that she was accessing the LSU Hospital System databases to obtain the account information, and in turn would receive payment from Matthews for the production of the counterfeit checks and identification cards,' said Sandifer.
Arrested were: Pamela A. Reams, 47, of Baton Rouge, Meshaune Wilson, 34, of Baton Rouge, Lisa M. Haynes, 44, of Baton Rouge, Valencia S. Paul, 37, of Baton Rouge, Tammy R. Matthews, 47, of Baton Rouge, Lisa Anderson, 46, of Baton Rouge, Billy Ray Taylor, Jr., 42, of Baton Rouge.
Nearly 400 victims were identified in at least 12 states, according to state police.