Prosecutors: Woman stole more than $50k in PayPal gift cards - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Prosecutors: Woman stole more than $50k in PayPal gift cards

Allison Spadafore (Provided by the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office) Allison Spadafore (Provided by the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office)

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters is crediting the quick action of Walgreens employees and police with the apprehension of a California woman stealing more than $50,000 in PayPal gift cards with fraudulent debit cards.

Allison Spadafore, 30, faces more than 30 years in prison if found guilty of a 66-count indictment announced Monday that includes 45 counts of identity fraud, 15 counts of criminal tools, two counts of money laundering and two counts of misuse of a credit card.

She is accused of going to the Walgreens in Evendale June 10 and trying to buy some PayPal gift cards with a fraudulent debit card. 

The Walgreens clerk noticed some discrepancies and alerted her store manager. Spadafore ran from the store, but the Walgreen employees got her license plate number and alerted police.

Spadafore drove to the Walgreens in neighboring Blue Ash but, before she could enter the store, Blue Ash police apprehended her.

Evendale police launched an investigation and said Spadafore had stolen identity information in her possession or under her control belonging to about 40 different people. 

She used the stolen information to obtain fraudulent identification cards, to open fraudulent bank accounts and to purchase merchandise and gift cards from various retail locations. 

The crimes here involved using stolen credit card numbers to purchase items and ultimately return the merchandise for cash. The cash was typically transferred electronically via PayPal accounts linked to multiple California residents.

Authorities are still calculating the total loss, but estimate it so far at more than $50,000.

Ultimately, the loss will be shouldered by the merchants or banks involved.

“If not for the quick action by the employees at Walgreens and the Evendale police department, who knows how long this criminal activity would have continued," Deters said in a prepared statement. 

"The investigation is on-going and the total loss amount is difficult to estimate. She was apparently part of a network that had ties to a prison inmate currently serving time in a California prison. Identity theft is a growing problem in our community and our stores and banks are greatly harmed by this type of fraud.”

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