Man arrested for numerous financial crimes, exploiting the elderly
COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) – A man has been arrested on numerous counts of financial card theft, identity fraud, and financial exploitation of the elderly.
On Monday, The Columbus Police Department's Financial Crimes Unit arrested 40-year-old Jeremy Pritchett and charged him with 17 counts of financial transaction card theft, 14 counts of identity fraud, and 10 counts of financial exploitation of an elderly person.
An investigation conducted revealed 14 victims in this case. The majority of the victims were over the age of 65 and were living on a fixed income.
Columbus Police say the two-month investigation began in September when a woman who identified herself as a member of Hurricane Irma evacuees seeking shelter in Columbus, visited the Wells Fargo bank on 13th Street in Uptown Columbus.
Police say the woman asked for her savings account balance, listed at $90,000, but explained Pritchett was said to be the only person who could give her the account statement. Further investigation led police to the discovery of the alleged crimes connected to Pritchett.
We spoke to Financial Managing Partner Tyler Townsend, of Townsend Wealth Management, who says people should always be cautious with their finances and credit.
"We need to think our information is already out there," says Townsend. "What that means is we need to freeze our credit now. That way no one can take a loan in your name."
Pritchett will make his first Recorder's Court hearing on November 9 at 9 a.m. ET.