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Three women charged with credit card fraud

By Kevin McKinnon, 01/7/13 6:30 PM

Jennifer Lynn White, Patricia Ann Lancaster and Kimberly Lawhon

Three women have been arrested as a result of a credit card fraud investigation at an area convenience store.

The owner of the Red-E-Mart store at 5452 Highway 371 in Blevins contacted the Hempstead County Sheriff’s Department on January 1st stating that one of his managers had been stealing by refunding money on credit cards. The owner told Deputy Matthew Dunham he had noticed approximately $5,600 worth of returns on credit cards at his store.

Hempstead County Investigator Justin Crane was assigned to the case and reported that in addition to a store manager, another employee and one former employee had been involved in fraud and theft by scanning debit cards or credit cards from the store.

Red-E-Mart store manager Jennifer Lynn White, 31, of Blevins, was arrested on Wednesday, January 2nd. Employee Patricia Ann Lancaster, 43, of Blevins and former employee Kimberly Lawhon, 47, of Nashville, were arrested on Friday, January 4th.

All three women were charged with Theft of Property and Financial Identity Fraud, both Class C felonies. They were being held in the Hempstead County Detention Facility.

The Sheriff’s Department reports that after further investigation they learned that Lancaster was wanted in Talladega County, Alabama on numerous counts of Theft of Property and Fraudulent Use of a Credit or Debit Card. She will be held pending extradition back to Talladega County.

Sheriff James Singleton says the investigation is still underway with more arrests possible. He says the estimated loss of $5,600 at the Blevins Red-E-Mart could be even higher before the investigation is complete.

Anyone doing business with the Red-E-Mart in Blevins using a credit or debit card should verify the amount of money charged on their card was correct. If you find any discrepancies you’re encouraged to contact the Hempstead County Sheriff’s Department at 870-777-6727.