Operations

Limo Operator One of Many Ripped Off

Posted on July 21, 2004 by LCT Staff - Also by this author - About the author

CLEARWATER, Fla. – Jaqueeba Johnson served more than two years in prison after her conviction on charges she financed a lavish wedding with stolen credit card numbers.

Police say Johnson began using stolen credit card numbers last fall, not long after her release from prison in August, 2003.

Back in 2001, Johnson was working at the Tricon restaurant, 1648 S Missouri Ave., where investigators believe she stole credit and debit card numbers by printing an extra receipt as customers paid for orders.

Johnson then used the credit card numbers over the phone to make arrangements for her wedding, which was held on a boat and included $4,000 in limo services, a $500 dress and nearly $700 in flowers.

In all, Johnson tried to charge a total of $5,675 over the phone with stolen credit card information.

Johnson was released from prison last August. It didn't take long, Clearwater police say, for Johnson to get back to her old tricks.

Johnson, 25, of Safety Harbor was arrested on charges of identity theft, credit card fraud, criminal use of personal information, grand theft and scheming to defraud.

Johnson and her new husband went on a honeymoon to Hawaii for seven days.

Back in Florida, the scam had started to unravel. One business had called authorities, and soon customers who found unexplained wedding charges on their statements started calling as well.

Johnson, who has a number of other theft and fraud charges in her criminal history, pleaded no contest to the charges a year after her arrest. She was sentenced to more than two years in prison.

Not long after her release, Johnson got a man's bank account information and tried to empty his account, police say.

After getting the account numbers, Johnson opened a bank account in her 4-year-old son's name, then wrote the bank a letter asking that $9,400 of the victim's money be transferred to her son's account, arrest reports state.

A bank employee realized it was a scam and didn't allow the transfer, but police say Johnson soon hatched other scams, which she pursued over a period of several months.

She stole a neighbor's child support check and signed it over to herself, then used a stolen credit card to charge more than $700 at Target, Exxon and other businesses, according to police.

Arrest reports indicate Johnson got the victims' personal information by stealing from mailboxes and pilfering a wallet from someone at her child's day care center.

Johnson also is charged with violating the probation for previous charges. She was being held at the Pinellas County Jail without bail.

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