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Friday, May 30, 2014

Woman accused of setting up fraudulent credit accounts at Nashua stores

CONCORD – A Massachusetts woman is facing federal charges she helped run a identity fraud ring and used fraudulent credit lines at Nashua stores to rack up thousands of dollars of charges.

Laura Minot, of Mattapan, Mass., was arrested along with another Mattapan resident, Lois Patton, on April 16 by agents from the U.S. Secret Service and several Massachusetts police agencies, according to court documents. ...

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CONCORD – A Massachusetts woman is facing federal charges she helped run a identity fraud ring and used fraudulent credit lines at Nashua stores to rack up thousands of dollars of charges.

Laura Minot, of Mattapan, Mass., was arrested along with another Mattapan resident, Lois Patton, on April 16 by agents from the U.S. Secret Service and several Massachusetts police agencies, according to court documents.

Police had followed the pair from Mattapan to several stores in Nashua, including Best Buy and the Pheasant Lane Mall, where they are charged with opening credit accounts using other people’s information and then trying to use those accounts to buy thousands of dollars in gift cards, according to court documents.

Minot is charged with a single count of “access device fraud and conspiracy” at U.S. District Court in Concord, according to court documents posted online.

Police followed the women from Patton’s home in Mattapan first to the Best Buy store at 220 Daniel Webster Highway where Minot opened a credit card account using the personal information of a Sudbury, Mass., woman, according to an affidavit filed by U.S. Secret Service Special Agent Rosemaria Marketos.

Minot then tried twice to buy $2,000 in gift cards at the Best Buy mobile store in the Pheasant Lane Mall but the transactions were flagged as possibly
fraudulent, according to court documents.

Patton then bought two pre-paid cellphones from the Walgreens store on Daniel Webster Highway and used one to change the phone number associated with the Best Buy account.

Minot then successfully bought $2,400 in gift cards from the Best Buy store at the Mall of New Hampshire in Manchester, according to court documents.

Minot also tried but failed to open a fraudulent account at a Target store in Woburn, Mass., according to court documents.

Minot and Patton were arrested at a traffic stop in Dorchester, Mass., and both refused to be interviewed. Minot told an officer from her cell, “You caught us red-handed. What else is there to talk about?” according to court documents.

Police found several documents with other people’s personal information when they searched Patton’s home, including one who said she had discovered that Target credit accounts had been opened and used to make more than $10,000 in purchases in Georgia, according to court documents.

Minot was charged in federal court on May 20. She will be back in court June 20 for a show cause hearing, according to court documents.

Joseph G. Cote can be reached at 594-6415 or jcote@nashua
telegraph.com. Also, follow Cote on Twitter (@Telegraph_JoeC).