CCSD investigates claim of fraudulent charges

Published 11:48 am Saturday, June 6, 2015

A Carter County woman was arrested Tuesday after police said she filed a false report claiming someone had fraudulently used her debit card to make purchases.
Officers of the Carter County Sheriff’s Department arrested Crystal M. Blankenship, 29, of 159 Price Road, Apt. B1 101, on Tuesday on a warrant charging her with filing a false report.
On May 12, Crystal Blankenship and her husband Michael Blankenship reported to the Sheriff’s Department that someone had charged a total of $901.61 worth of purchases to their bank account between April 13 and May 6.
As part of the investigation, officers obtained copies of the Blankenship’s bank records and also spoke with bank employees and learned the bank had reimbursed the Blankenships $547.86 on the alleged fraudulent charges.
“This amount differed from the original report due to Mrs. Blankenship reporting to the bank that several of the original charges were actually made by her, and therefore not eligible for reimbursement,” CCSD Capt. Mike Little said. During the investigation, Little said he spoke with Crystal Blankenship several times and she denied that she or her husband made any of the disputed charges.
Included in the disputed charges, the bank reimbursed a $301.47 purchase from Candle Cocoon on April 13 and a $90.20 purchase from LoneStar Candle Company on April 14.
“I have spoken with representatives from both of these companies who have provided extensive documentation which proves that both purchases were, in fact, made by Crystal Blankenship,” Little said, adding shipping information showed the purchases were delivered to the Blankenship’s home on Price Road. Crystal Blankenship owns a home-based candle business and the purchases from Candle Cocoon and LoneStar Candle Company were for candle making supplies, Little said.
Crystal Blankenship appeared in Carter County General Sessions Court on Wednesday where she was arraigned. Judge Keith Bowers set her bond as a $1,000 corporate bond and scheduled her next court appearance for July 14.
After her court appearance on Wednesday, Crystal Blankenship was released from the Carter County Detention Center after posting bond.

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