Woman pleads guilty to conspiracy in multistate fraud scheme

 

A woman who used fake financial cards to buy cigarettes later taken to Northern cities to sell pleaded guilty to conspiracy Tuesday in federal court in Augusta.

Tiquela Murray, 33, admitted to her role in the operation and agreed to the forfeiture of $24,700 and several computers that were seized when she was arrested in April 2011.

Murray had been a fugitive for more than a year until her recent arrest in Tennessee. She had fled in 2011 while free on bond on state charges.

Murray was arrested April 19, 2011, when the Georgia Bureau of Investigation received a tip that she was using fraudulent financial cards at the Wal-Mart in Thomson, said FBI special agent Paul Kubala, who worked on the investigation with the GBI.

A search of her vehicle uncovered credit, debit and gift cards that were created with fraudulent and stolen personal identity information, authorities said. Murray told agents that she used the cards to buy about 500 cartons of Newport cigarettes at a time to take to New York City and Philadelphia, where she would collect cash payments for them.

Murray will be sentenced later.

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