Identity Theft

Sneaker Obsession Allegedly Leads to Check-Cashing Scam

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A New Jersey man is accused of defrauding New York banks of more than $100,000 in order to feed his obsession with shoes, the New York Post reports. Carlton Carter isn’t fond of just any shoe: When police searched the 30-year-old’s home, they found about 300 pairs of Air Jordans.

Prosecutors allege Carter funded his wall of shoes by stealing bank information from a check-cashing store and using it to make fraudulent withdrawals. Carter’s defense attorney, Anthony Mayol, said the shoes don’t indicate criminal activity.

“Perhaps 300 pairs of sneakers reflects he’s a collector,” Mayol said, according to the Post.

Carter is only one of the accused. He’s one of 15 people named in an indictment regarding a cocaine, prescription-pill and check-fraud scheme, though his charges are limited to cashing fraudulent checks.

If the house of shoes was the result of fraud, it’s not all that surprising. People do weird stuff with other people’s money, like the California teens who were recently accused of renting a luxury sports car with a stolen credit card, or the time someone in Florida charged a yacht wedding to someone else’s card.

It’s unclear if any of the bank information stolen from the check-cashing service belonged to consumers, but a scheme like this is one of the many reasons consumers need to monitor their accounts for unauthorized activity. Web-based and mobile banking make it simple to keep tabs on transactions, and you can detect if someone’s messing with your credit by regularly checking your credit reports and credit scores. You can review your credit data for free every 30 days on Credit.com, allowing you to stay on top of of the most important facets of your finances: your credit score.

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Image: Digital Vision

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