Don't know if you guys have heard of this but some people that recently came in to town claiming they were victims of Hurricane Katrina got caught red handed. The woman worked for us while she was here and her husband was always coming in trying to get a hand out. Once we found out they were scamming the whole town I offered to donate my mighty boot.
Katrina-victim poseurs bilk community members
BY ELLIS NEEL STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER/WRITER
Dec 11, 2005, 06:00 pm
Two Virginia residents who have never been to New Orleans spent several weeks in the Otero County area bilking area residents of money, furnishings, food and friendship, investigators say.
Walter Clay Robertson and his wife, Rebecca Jean McKim-Robertson, of 20 Papago Road, were arrested by New Mexico State Police officer David Miller Friday afternoon.
John Stubbe, an investigator with the 12th Judicial District Attorney's office, recently began an investigation into the Robertsons.
"Basically, we got complaints from numerous citizens that these two people were going around posing as victims of Hurricane Katrina," Stubbe said. "They said their home and all their furnishings were destroyed while living in New Orleans."
When folks heard of the Robertsons' supposed plight, "several local churches were contacted and the churches and the parishioners opened their hearts and their pocketbooks to give to the people," Stubbe said.
The pair apparently bilked at least $2,500 from people and organizations in cash money, food, clothes and furnishings.
Stubbe said a member of one local church secured a loan "to pay for repairs" to Walter Robertson's semi-tractor. The truck was fine and the repairs consisted of a number of high-dollar accessories for the truck and "oh yeah, an oil change," he added.
Stubbe pointed out the semi-tractor "interestingly enough, is listed as a stolen motor vehicle out of Virginia as a theft by conversion."
He explained the "theft by conversion": "He wrote a check for it and the check was bogus. He got a title for the truck and the check wasn't any good, that's theft by conversion."
The Robertsons were arrested and each was charged with five counts of fraud over $250 (fourth-degree felony); two counts of fraud under $250 (misdemeanor); one count attempt to commit felony to wit fraud over $20,000 (third-degree felony) and one count of conspiracy (fourth-degree felony).
They are each being held in the Otero County Detention Center on a $1 million bond, no 10 percent.
Following the Robertsons' arrest, their two children, one 2-years-old and the second a few weeks old, were taken into custody by the Children, Youth and Family Department.
The investigation was a joint effort between the New Mexico State Police, the 12th Judicial District Attorney's Office and the Otero County Sheriff's Department.
What sucks is that some people will think twice about helping out in the future because of scumbags like this.
At least they were caught. I'm sure there are other scammers out there still stealing people's money.