The Journal Gazette
Saturday, February 08, 2020 1:00 am

Fraud charges filed after money orders cashed

JAMIE DUFFY | The Journal Gazette

Jamica Morrison left a credit union in Waynedale with nearly $4,000 in cash after cashing altered money orders, according to court documents filed Friday.

Morrison, 28, of the 500 block of Badiac Drive, is charged with two counts each of felony fraud on a financial institution and two counts of theft. 

The four money orders cashed Wednesday at 3Rivers Federal Credit Union were washed or altered, police said, and were purchased in Illinois for as little as $1.50. 

When Morrison attempted similar transactions Thursday at the West Jefferson Boulevard 3Rivers branch, the teller flagged the manager that a customer had come in with four $1,000 U.S. Postal Service money orders that seemed unusual and suspicious.

The back of the money orders was damp, and the ink seemed to have bled through the paper – signs that the money orders were fake, court documents say. Investigators said they could see small numbers like 2 or 3 underneath the $1,000 amount when they held the money orders up to the light. 

The manager of the Waynedale branch told police he inspected the money orders Morrison had cashed the day before and found the same issues. 

The West Jefferson manager contacted Postal Inspector Suzanne Rossman in Gary, and she confirmed the money orders had been washed and reprinted. They had been purchased in Illinois for amounts between $1.50 and $10, she said. 

Morrison reportedly told investigators her grandfather bought the money orders and then – at the West Jefferson branch – called her brother, who pretended to be the grandfather, a probable cause affidavit alleges. 

Additionally, Rossman said there was no video showing an elderly man or woman purchasing those money orders, the affidavit says.

Text messages on her phone also show Morrison and her brother working together on the fraud, police said.

The brother is not named in court documents, and it is not clear if he is facing criminal charges. 

Morrison was released on her own recognizance. She has a court hearing Wednesday.

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