Palmerton woman charged with money laundering scheme
A Palmerton woman has been charged for her role in a money laundering scheme.
According to the affidavit of probable cause filed by Detective Kevin Buck of the Palmerton Borough Police Department:
On Dec. 21, Buck was contacted regarding several bank accounts opened at the Wells Fargo Bank by Tabitha Shetrompf, 23.
Buck was told these accounts were quickly left in the negative several hundred dollars each, and it was believed that Shetrompf may be involved in a financial scam.
Buck contacted Shetrompf in regard to the possibility of her identity having been stolen, and she said there were several accounts opened in her name but she did not open them.
Buck contacted Wells Fargo Bank and confirmed that Shetrompf had several accounts opened in her name, and was told that numerous ones were closed and left in the negative.
Buck then filed a search warrant with Wells Fargo Bank for any information regarding several accounts that were opened in her name. He located the accounts that had been used in this crime which showed that on Nov. 27, four personal checks were deposited into these three accounts. All of these checks were drawn on an account from Valley National Bank held by Reynold Alberti and Gloria Confessore.
Buck was told that the account had been closed several months before this as a result of the account information having been compromised and personal checks having been stolen.
When Buck advised the bank employee of the check numbers used in this matter, she told him that these were not among the numbers reported stolen, nor were they close to any of the numbers, and believes the checks may have been printed by the offenders.
The four checks were listed in the amounts of $400, $411, $400 and $411, all kept small enough as to be made available for immediate withdrawal, and had been deposited via an ATM.
Through a separate investigation, it was found through a search warrant on Shetrompf’s Facebook account that she would open the account either in person or online and deposit an initial small amount of money that turned out to be withdrawn after being deposited. Once the account was opened, Shetrompf would receive a temporary ATM/debit card until a permanent one was mailed to her.
Upon her receiving the permanent one, Shetrompf would supply that card, along with all of the online banking information, to a third party without the consent of the “issuer,” which was Wells Fargo Bank. Upon confirmation of this information, the third party would deposit the checks, and then they, along with Shetrompf, would access the money that had been made available for immediate withdrawal. After several days, Wells Fargo would be notified that the deposited check was on a closed account, leaving Wells Fargo at a loss totaling $1,624 with penalties in the accounting listed under Shetrompf’s name.
Upon the checks being made available for withdrawal, the accounts were drained immediately by ATM, as well as online transfers from the account that received the check to other accounts that were controlled by Shetrompf, as well as money was sent via Western Union to herself.
Shetrompf faces charges on four counts each of theft receiving stolen property and bad checks; three counts of access device fraud; and two counts of dealing in proceeds of unlawful activities.
She is currently incarcerated in the Carbon County Correctional Facility in lieu of $3,000 straight bail, and is scheduled to have a preliminary hearing at 11 a.m. Feb. 13 before District Judge William Kissner of Palmerton.