Using stolen credit cards and identities to book Summit County vacation rentals leads to theft charges against Denver man

A Denver man accused of using stolen credit cards to book vacation rentals for visitors to Summit County has been charged with three felonies and one misdemeanor.

The 42-year-old was charged with theft of $5,000 to $20,000, impersonation, criminal possession of a financial device and unauthorized use of a financial transaction device, a charge of a crime, according to court records. He was arrested on August 9 by the Summit County Sheriff’s Office following his extradition. His bail was set at $20,000.

He also has ongoing cases in Montrose and Grand counties.

The Summit County case began when a property manager called the Summit County Sheriff’s Office to report a possible case of fraud involving one of SkyRun Vacation Rentals’ Summit County properties, according to an affidavit. filed in the case.

The manager gave the following account, according to court records: The property was leased in the name of a woman whose surname was Walker. The rental had a start day of March 10, 2019. While cleaning the house, members of the cleaning crew noticed that two televisions, a DVD player and a wireless printer were missing from the rental property. The owner’s closet had also been broken into. The missing TV, DVD player and printer are said to be worth around $1,020.

The owner also said she was missing several appliances, including TV soundbars, a Dyson vacuum cleaner, a coffee machine and more, with a total value of over $1,000, the affidavit states. .

Sheriff’s Office investigators looked into the case on March 21, 2019. On that day, from a general internet search, an investigator found a “FRAUD ALERT!” Facebook post linking to the same phone number used by “Walker,” the affidavit states. The message mentions two other names: the Denver man who was later arrested and his girlfriend.

Later, on March 27, 2019, the property manager told investigators that the same “Walker”-linked credit card was again used to book a SkyRun property. This time, however, it was made under the surname Poli, and it was booked through a travel agency named “Michelle”. The manager said the total amount allegedly scammed by “Michelle” was $6,448.01, according to the manager’s email in the affidavit.

Investigators contacted a member of Poli’s party by email on April 2. The party member said a person named “Ben”, whom they met on the Keystone chairlift, said “Michelle” could hook them up with discounted lift tickets. He also said “Michelle” could find them accommodation for $300 for two nights, an amount party members said was low but would be on such short notice. The party member said they stayed the nights and paid “Michelle” afterwards, although the PayPal account “appears to be deactivated,” the party member’s email states in the affidavit.

Investigators called phone numbers linked to the woman with the surname Walker on June 13, 2019. Family members said Walker was in Florida when the SkyRun was booked. Investigators also learned that her husband’s credit card – the same one used to book the rental – was lost at Disney World from February 24 to March 9, 2019.

Walker’s husband showed investigators several fraudulent transactions made with his credit card, involving numerous Vail Resort properties, two transactions with SkyRun, one transaction with Book Copper Colorado, one with Eldora Web Sales and one at the Courtyard Marriott in Westminster . All were made between March 8, 2019 and March 11, 2019, and in total they amounted to more than $10,000 in charges, according to the affidavit.

The PayPal account mentioned above was linked to a man whose last name was Fairbanks. The affidavit shows four PayPal accounts were open in Fairbanks’ name as of April 30, 2019.

Investigators spoke to the man whose last name was Fairbanks on June 13, 2019. Fairbanks told investigators he met, while homeless, a man named “James” who offered in Fairbanks a hotel room in exchange for access to the Fairbanks Paypal account.

Fairbanks met with investigators on July 26, 2019, and asked them to identify “James” from a series of photos. Fairbanks said “James” was in the lineup, but Fairbanks declined to fully identify him, saying he was not a “snitch,” the affidavit reads. A picture of a Denver man was in the lineup.

Previously, the Denver man was arrested for renting condos in Keystone with a stolen credit card, and his girlfriend was also arrested in February 2018, the affidavit says.

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