THE VILLAGE, Okla. (KFOR) – A Florida man is in jail in Oklahoma after allegedly stealing thousands of dollars with fraudulent unemployment cards.
36-year-old Alfred Smith is accused of using multiple unemployment cards to withdraw money from an ATM at First Liberty Bank.
The bank thought it was suspicious, so they deactivated the ATM and called police. Smith was found in a nearby parking lot.
According to the police report, the officer “observed a large bulge inside of Mr. Smith’s left sock around the ankle.”
Inside were four OESC unemployment cards, none of them with his name.
Smith allegedly withdrew $500 on two cards, and when police searched his car, “a black money bag containing $4,480 was located in the trunk of the vehicle.”
“We did conduct a more detailed search of the vehicle and were able to find dozens of unemployment cards secreted inside the vehicle,” Deputy Chief Russ Landon with The Village Police Department said.
Officers arrested Smith, and he was booked into the Oklahoma County Jail.
“Thousands and thousands of dollars were involved in our arrest here in The Village,” Landon said.
Officials say this kind of fraud is becoming more common.
“They file unemployment, fraudulently, and somehow they’re able to get those debit cards mailed to addresses, maybe abandoned homes, or P.O. boxes, they get those cards, and go withdraw lots and lots of money and then disappear,” Landon said.
“That is something that happens and that we work with law enforcement on every single day. If we see that, it’s identified, and we have information that we receive that indicates that this is going on at different ATMs,” Shelley Zumwalt with OESC said.
Police say this arrest could be one of many.
“It appears there may be more than one person involved using dozens and dozens of cards in Oklahoma and maybe many more throughout the U.S.,” Landon said.
Police have turned the case over to a federal task force since federal funds were involved.