News


Central Florida Fraud Ring Leader Arrested

 


The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) announces the arrest of Vanessa Rideau, 41, of Orlando, on charges relating to an organized scheme to defraud, grand theft and petit theft. Rideau was arrested on October 21, 2010, in Orlando.   She had been wanted since March of this year.

 
FDLE began its investigation after receiving a complaint from a local credit union. The investigation revealed that Rideau recruited accomplices and provided them a small amount of money to open accounts at a local credit union. Upon receiving Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cards in the mail, the accomplices would sell the cards and the corresponding pin numbers to Rideau for a nominal fee. Rideau would then deposit fraudulent checks, via the ATM, into the recently opened accounts and then immediately make a withdrawal. Once the deposited checks failed to clear, a representative from the credit union would call the account holder. The account holder would then claim his/her ATM cards were stolen and state that they had no knowledge of the deposits or the withdrawal.
 
Rideau is the 39th person arrested since March in relation to this fraud ring. 
 
The following persons are still wanted for their role in the fraud ring. Anyone with information regarding their whereabouts is asked to contact Special Agent Chris Woehr at 407-245-0888 or CrimeLine at 407-423-TIPS(8477).
 
  • Brandon Demps, 22, Orlando, wanted for organized scheme to defraud;
  • Timothy Griffin, 40, Orlando, wanted for organized scheme to defraud;
  • Ann Walker, 23, Orlando, wanted for organized scheme to defraud;
 During the investigation, FDLE determined that 28 of the 42 individuals charged are currently receiving public assistance benefits. FDLE’s public assistance fraud investigators are actively investigating the potential public assistance fraud violations and are in contact with the United States Department of Agriculture and the Department of Children and Families for review and potential revocation of benefits.
 
Rideau was booked into the Orange County Jail.

Attorney General Bill McCollum’s Office of Statewide Prosecution is prosecuting the case.
 
 
For Further Information Contact:
Heather Smith or Keith Kameg
FDLE Office of Public Information
(850) 410-7001