August 2, 2012 in City, News

Police link Spokane woman to Nigerian fraud

The Spokesman-Review

A Spokane woman is in jail after police connected her to a fraud based in Nigeria.

Karen Wanell Jones, 55, is accused of shipping 24 stolen computers to Nigeria and Ghana valued at nearly $14,000.

Police say the computers were obtained by a forged purchasing order through Spokane Public Schools.

“This type of scam is commonly seen in law enforcement,” Crime Analyst Tom Michaud said in a news release. “People are usually often befriended on the Internet and then are told to receive items in the mail and then re-ship those items overseas. ”

Terren Roloff, spokeswoman for Spokane Public School, said employees noticed two unauthorized purchasing orders last month. Security investigated, then contacted police.

“That’s how the ball got rolling,” Roloff said. Roloff said Jones does not work for the school district.

Police had contacted Jones last May because of her involvement in selling a handgun and sending the sales money to a bogus bank account overseas.

“After being warned that this type of activity is connected to illegal activity, Jones continued to be a willing participant and was subsequently arrested by detectives for her involvement in the latest investigation,” Michaud wrote.

Jones was ordered released from jail on her own recognizance today after appearing in Spokane County Superior Court today on a first-degree theft charge.

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