Former University of Georgia student charged with fraud

Although it hasn’t received a lot of attention in Atlanta media, a former University of Georgia student employee is accused of stealing fellow students’ financial information and using it to make illegal purchases.

He faces 32 financial identity fraud counts and 19 charges of financial transaction card fraud, law enforcement officials said.

The 20-year-old faces those 61 charges in Athens-Clarke County; he faces accusations of identity fraud and financial fraud in nearby Jackson County as well.

Investigators allege that the Columbus resident took the financial information from printed documents and not from the university’s computer systems.

A law enforcement spokesperson said the former student had been employed by the school and authorized to examine the records.

The spokesperson says 160 people were defrauded, including current and past students. Some graduated from the university between 2008 and 2011.

University of Georgia police have been investigating the suspect for weeks, they said, after receiving complaints of fraud “over a period of time.” There were also related fraud complaints filed in Jackson County and North Carolina, the spokesperson said.

According to a university spokesperson, the former student was a school employee from the spring of last year until he was fired in January of this year.

The suspect had bond set at $5,000 for each financial transaction card count (19) and at $10,000 for each count of financial identity fraud (32).

It’s never a good idea to discuss evidence or fraud accusations with police without an experienced criminal defense attorney present. In that way, your rights can be protected in the legal system.

Source: The Red & Black, “Update: Former UGA student employee booked into ACC jail on fraud charges,” Michelle Baruchman, Feb. 10, 2014