MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Walmart stores in North Miami Beach and Palm Springs are the latest targets of organized wire transfer fraud.
According to Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle and Miami-Dade Police Director Alfredo Ramirez, four individuals ranging from 26 years old to 31 years old have been charged for an organized fraudulent scheme involving Walmart wire transfers. The wire transfers amounted to $360,000.
On Friday, 31-year-old Emmanuel Alexis, 31-year-old Jahson Rayon Linton, 30-year- old Michelle Denise Gilyard, and 26-year-old Vitnelson Saint Fleur were charged with one count of the 1st Degree felonies of Organized Scheme to Defraud and Conspiracy to Commit an Organized Scheme to Defraud.
Furthermore, Alexis and Gilyard are also being charged with one count of the 1st Degree Felony of Grand Theft. Saint Fleur and Linton are being charged with 1 count of the 2nd Degree Felony of Grand Theft.
“The Miami-Dade Police Department worked closely with the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office to bring this fraud organization to justice,” says Ramirez. “Our Economic Crimes Bureau investigators are driven professionals that will not rest until cases are solved.”
According to the report, felons have begun utilizing Walmart employees as key players to find ways of overriding canceled wire transfers of money between Walmart stores.
In this case, Gilyard, an employee working at a North Miami Beach Walmart store, and Saint Fleur, an employee working at a Palm Springs Walmart store, were allegedly paid per transaction by Alexis and/or Linton to provide refunds on money transfer transactions that were often already flagged as fraudulent.
Both Gilyard and Saint Fleur allegedly verified the existence of the suspended transactions, processed them, and then paid the monies to their accomplices.
For their alleged participation, both Gilyard and Saint Fleur were paid $200.00 or $300.00 cash per transaction. Gilyard allegedly processed a total of 130 fraudulent refund transactions amounting to $283,587.47 between June 29, 2018 and Jan. 24, 2019. Saint Fleur allegedly processed a total of 36 fraudulent refunds totaling $79,664.32 between Sept. 8, 2018 and Jan. 1, 2019.
“Today’s sophisticated scammers are always probing to find ways to grab the cash of every business and every consumer,” says Rundle. “Gaining the assistance of a trusted employee always makes the criminal’s job easier. It takes the work of skillful investigators to unravel their strategies and bring these individuals to justice.
She adds, “Miami-Dade County and Walmart are fortunate that there are such dedicated individuals working both in-house at Walmart and in the Miami-Dade Police Department.”