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Police: Lancaster woman used identity of longtime friend, friend’s family, to defraud credit union

LANCASTER COUNTY — A 36-year-old Lancaster County woman is facing several charges after police say she used the names of her friends — and the frien...

LANCASTER COUNTY — A 36-year-old Lancaster County woman is facing several charges after police say she used the names of her friends — and the friends’ one-year-old child — to obtain fraudulent credit cards and car loans.

Elizabeth Oliver, of Lancaster, is also accused of making a series of suspicious withdrawals from the family’s accounts dating back to 2013, police say.

Oliver is charged with Dealing in Proceeds of Unlawful Activities, Theft by Deception, Identity Theft, Access Device Fraud, and Tampering With Records or Identification. She was arraigned on the complaint on June 3. Bail was set at $250,000, and posted by a bail bond, police say.

Police began investigating in December 2018, when the family reported a series of fraudulent activities on their account at the Lancaster County Red Rose Credit Union. The family discovered there was a car loan and credit card that they did not create on their accounts, police say. There were also a series of suspicious withdrawals from the accounts, according to police.

The credit union performed an internal investigation, and confirmed the fraudulent activity on the victims’ accounts in January. A representative for the credit union provided a timeline of the fraud to police, accusing Oliver — a former employee of the credit union and a lifelong friend of one of the victims — as the perpetrator, police say.

According to police:

  • On Feb. 20, 2013, Oliver issued a fraudulent credit card under the name of the victim’s son, who was one year old at the time. The account had a $15,000 limit. On Feb. 23, 2103, Oliver took a cash advance of $14,514.60 on the credit card’s account.
  • On August 25, 2016, Oliver created a fraudulent car loan for $26,169.66, using the name of one of the adult victims as a borrower. The vehicle assigned to the loan did not exist. Oliver claimed a 2015 Ford Explorer was purchased, using the VIN from a 2008 Ford Fusion that the victims had previously legitimately financed through the credit union. The funds from the car loan were distributed to pay of the fraudulent credit card under the child’s name, as well as funds that Oliver had withdrawn from the victim’s joint bank account.  The fraudulent car loan was paid monthly by Oliver, sometimes from her account and sometimes from the victim’s accounts.
  • LCRRCU records showed transfers of funds from Oliver’s personal account to the outstanding car loan. Those payments continued until June 2018 when Oliver resigned from LCRRCU. The loan payments continued to be paid by cash, dropped off at an LCRRCU night deposit box. The last payment made was in October 2018 and was a double payment that covered the payments through November 2018.
  • In December 2018, the victim attempted to make a purchase from her LCRRCU card and the purchase was denied. The victim was told that her address on file for the card did not match what she provided. The victim followed up with LCRRCU and found that the addresses for all of her accounts had been changed to the address of LCRRCU.
  • The contact at the credit union asked the victim if she had a current car loan through LCRRCU and the victim said she did not.  Because the address on the accounts had been changed to the credit union, the victims had not received printed statements and the fraudulent activity that started in 2013 went undetected until 2018.