Crime

Retired FBI agent helps nab identity fraud suspect at Kinetic Credit Union

FBI makes arrest in identity theft case

A man attempting to take out an automobile loan at a Kinetic Credit Union branch was arrested by federal agents on Monday and charged with making false statements to a federally insured institution and aggravated identity theft. James Theron Brown
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A man attempting to take out an automobile loan at a Kinetic Credit Union branch was arrested by federal agents on Monday and charged with making false statements to a federally insured institution and aggravated identity theft. James Theron Brown

A man attempting to take out an automobile loan at a Kinetic Credit Union branch was arrested by federal agents on Monday and charged with making false statements to a federally insured institution and aggravated identity theft.

James Theron Brown, also known as “John E. Catlette,” appeared in front of Magistrate Judge Stephen Hyles, but the initial hearing was delayed until Friday morning as authorities sorted through the facts.

Brown was arrested Monday at the Kinetic office at 4811 Banker’s Boulevard in Columbus, according to the criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court, Middle District of Georgia.

Brown was one of two men who had previously opened four memberships accounts at the credit union, according to the criminal complaint. A credit union security officer, also a retired FBI special agent, had suspected something was amiss with the accounts and the identifications used to open them.

The credit union security officer advised the FBI that “two unknown subjects had each used two different counterfeit South Carolina drivers’ licenses to represent their identities,” according to the complaint. One of the applicants using what federal officials claim is a false driver’s license, applied for a Kinetic automobile loan and was denied.

Brown, representing himself as Catlette, also applied for a $31,925 automobile loan.

“After meeting with FBI special agents who were posing as KCU loan officers, the individual presented a South Carolina drivers (license) in the name of John E. Catlette,” the criminal complaint states. He also submitted a Georgia Power Co. bill in the name of Catlette at 5724 Matlette Court in Columbus and a bill of sale for a 2016 Chevrolet Silverado. Both documents were determined to be fraudulent, according to the criminal complaint.

He was then arrested by the federal agents posing as loan officers.

Brown’s court-appointed attorney, David Roberts of Columbus, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Mel Hyde both agreed to delay the hearing until Friday. Brown will remain in federal custody.

Chuck Williams: 706-571-8510, @chuckwilliams

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