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Court documents: Hoosier Park cash advance scam arrests could be part of larger operation targeting casinos


Deshmia Alexander (left) and Keonna Cole (right)

ANDERSON, Ind. – Two women were arrested last week in what state authorities say was an organized operation to use fake debit cards to obtain cash advances.

Deshmia Alexander, 22, Indianapolis, and Keonna Cole, 28, Fort Wayne, are indicted in remarkably similar cases that occurred in November and December.

According to court documents, Alexander received $ 2,400 in two transactions at the Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on November 22. Indiana Gaming Commission agents said the video showed her arriving at the casino around 3:30 a.m. and using a Fifth Third Bank debit card to obtain cash advances. Two other attempts to obtain money from the transaction were refused.

Investigators contacted the bank and found that Alexander opened an account on November 10. She deposited a fraudulent check for $ 2,493.58, according to court documents. The check was from Forge Industrial Staffing and was payable to Alexander.

At. On November 25, the check was returned as “impossible to locate”. Investigators later discovered that the account number was invalid.

The charges against Alexander include fraud at a financial institution and theft, both counts.

On December 3, investigators said Cole was involved in a similar case. She walked into the casino at around 5:30 am and used a Fifth Third Bank debit card to get a cash advance of $ 2,400. Cole had opened the account on November 11 and deposited a check for $ 3,497.50 from Target Distribution Inc.

As in the case of Alexander, the check was ultimately returned as “not found”. Cole faces charges of financial institution fraud and theft.

According to court documents, investigators have seen several cases like this since August 2016 at Hoosier Park and Indiana Grand casinos, and believe they are related.

“The relationship between these cases further supports additional felony charges of criminal gang activity and corrupt business influence,” investigators concluded in probable cause affidavits filed in the case.