Federal investigators say 30 or more Wells Fargo customers may have been the victim of an elaborate scheme to create counterfeit checks. Ashley Jerome Carter, 30, is facing federal charges of manufacturing counterfeit private securities. He remains in the Lubbock County Jail.
According to federal documents, the check scheme went down from May 2011 to July 2011. Investigators say Carter made counterfeit checks using actual Wells Fargo customer information. Investigators say he got that information from his girlfriend, who worked at the Wells Fargo Phone Bank in the 4300 block of Huron.
Court documents say Carter's girlfriend admitted to giving him client account information on at least 5 different occasions. She also estimated the number of accounts she provided was in the thirties.
Joe Stroop, Vice President of Communications for Wells Fargo in Texas, says those 30 customers aren't necessarily from the Lubbock area.
"The phone bank takes calls from all over the country and a small percentage of the calls do originate from Lubbock and that area. But, the vast majority of them are from out of state," Stroop said.
In the federal complaint, Carter's girlfriend admitted to writing down customer account information and hiding it in her purse until she met with Carter and exchanged the information. She said she gave Carter the information because she feared for her safety. Carter's girlfriend said he was extremely violent and abused here, which even resulted in hospitalization.
That Wells Fargo employee has not been charged with any crimes, and at this point, is cooperating with authorities. In the meantime, Stroop says it's important customers contact Wells Fargo if they think they could have been a victim of the crime.
"Our advice would be for Wells Fargo customers to go back and carefully review their bank statements and if they see anything suspicious, to file a claim with us," Stroop said.
Stroop says any victims will be taken care of and any lost monies will be re-couped.
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