Georgia teen sets up fraudulent business and steals $28 million
An 18-year-old in Georgia managed to pull off an online scam which was going smoothly until authorities got wind of it
A Georgia teen managed to outsmart local banks and run a fraud scheme that netted him $28 million, until his suspicious transactions tipped off state officials, WSBTV reports.
Charles Turner, 18, set up a fake online electronics business called “Riverdale X” and was selling Amazon products for an increased charge. However, customers were receiving busted products or nothing at all while he scammed and pilfered money from their bank accounts as a result of them entering information on his website.
“He told us that he was using a website that would collect payment information and that he was able to get the routing and account and banking information from that website and then use that information to make payments to us, along with his car payment and other payments, as well,” said Josh Waites, an investigator with the Georgia Department of Revenue.
Turner had completed fraudulent bank charges ranging from $14,000 to $28 million. There’s $28 million sitting in the U.S. Treasury.
On Thursday, Turner was arrested while sitting at home with his mother and brother, who said they were left in the dark about what he was doing. Turner happened to be home waiting for a check he thought he was getting from the Georgia Department of Revenue. But it was a bogus deal that was set up with an undercover agent.
A warrant was issued for Turner’s arrest after he walked out of a Henry County Sun Trust bank with $18,000 from a fraudulent check.
In January, he faced a financial fraud arrest out of Fulton County.
The state department of revenue started to notice a suspicious pattern of how much money Turner was paying the state about three weeks ago, Waites said. Not only that, but many of them would be reversed because of the fraudulent accounts and insufficient funds, he said.
“He actually set up a business, set up withholding accounts and sales tax accounts and was overpaying by more than $25 million onto those accounts and then requesting refunds for those same amounts to be returned back to him in his personal checking account,” Waites explained.
When arrested, the station’s reporter Nicole Carr asked Turner’s family: “Did you find it unusual, the amount of money that was coming into the house?” Carr asked.
“I mean, didn’t no money come in here [sic],” Terio Williams, Turner’s brother, replied. “I mean, I didn’t get none.”
“Were you all recently able to go on a big vacation?” Carr continued.
“I mean, I been here,” Williams said. “We didn’t know nothing. Surprised like y’all.”
Turner’s mother refused to speak.
Several cars were hauled off the property, which investigators said at least one was paid with a fraudulent check and was being returned to CarMax.
“Unfortunately, in the past, we’ve seen people younger than him, from all walks of life, just not to this extent,” Waites said, referring to the nature of the investigation. “We did not lose any money in this scheme, which is a testament to the hard work of the people in the department.”