Wednesday, 30 January 2019 17:18

Richmond County state House candidate charged with identity theft, card fraud in Stanly County

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Joshua Flores is accused of making purchases with a stolen debit card number in Stanly County. Joshua Flores is accused of making purchases with a stolen debit card number in Stanly County. Credit: Stanly County Detention Center

ALBEMARLE — Joshua Jesus Flores, a candidate for District 66 of the North Carolina House of Representatives, was scheduled to appear in Stanly County Superior Court on multiple charges on Monday, Jan. 28.


Flores, 23, of Ellerbe, faces several felony charges in Albemarle for fraud and theft after allegedly going on a spending spree with a stolen debit card number.

According to arrest warrants, Flores used a Wells Fargo Platinum debit card belonging to a customer at the AT&T store where he worked to make several purchases last April. On April 6, he allegedly used the card online to purchase tickets to the North Carolina Republican Convention, spending $355.

Flores allegedly used the same card to spend $114 on a pair of pants from Chubbies on April 9. On April 10, warrants allege that he used the card to spend $44.84 on a pair of pants from Nordstrom, $56.69 on AMC Theatres tickets, and $18.45 on chicken plates from Zaxby's.

While the warrants only mentioned $18.45 was spent at Zaxby's, the reporting officer narrative filed by Albemarle Police Officer D.B. Edwards noted that the victims claimed there was an additional fraudulent charge of $7.78 made at the same restaurant. According to the report, the fraudulent charges added up to about $482.76; however, all of the amounts listed above total $596.76.

Days later on April 17, Flores allegedly took $20 from the deposit of the AT&T store where he worked, according to the warrants.

According to the reports filed by Albemarle officers Edwards and C.M. Cote, the investigation began when the victim and her ex-husband, both residents of Montgomery County, noticed fraudulent charges on their joint bank account statement. They then filed their fraud report to police on April 10.

On April 18, AT&T store manager S'Kiera Coates told police that she had noticed $20 missing from the deposit and that Flores had closed the store the previous evening. When she checked the store video, she alleged that Flores was shown taking the money.

After Cote called Flores, Flores went to the police department.

“Flores confessed to taking the $20 out of the deposit, and writing down (a) customer's credit card number and using it to buy items on,” Cote wrote.

Flores was charged with felony larceny by employee on April 25. He was also charged with six counts each of identity theft and obtaining property by a false pretense (both felonies) and misdemeanor financial card fraud.

The status of his case is unknown at this time.

All defendants facing criminal charges are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Flores announced his intent to run for office on Jan. 4 and records with the N.C. State Board of Elections show he filed paperwork on Jan. 8.

The district — which covers Richmond, Montgomery and part of Stanly County — is currently represented by Ken Goodman, a Richmond County Democrat who was re-elected to his fifth term in November.

Goodman previously told the RO that the seat has been held by a Richmond County Democrat as far back as he can remember.

This year he faced challenges from candidates in two parties: Joey Davis from the GOP; and Justin Miller from the Green Party.

Goodman garnered a little more than 50 percent of the vote with 13,361 votes cast in his favor. Davis secured nearly 47 percent with 12,338 and Miller came in at 2.12 percent with 556 votes.

Although Davis carried the majority of his home county of Montgomery and the sliver of Stanly County in the 66th District, Richmond helped propel Goodman to victory.

Richmond County Commissioner Ben Moss, the first Republican elected to the board in more than 120 years, also announced his intent to run for the seat, but the state elections board shows no record of paperwork being filed.

 

Note: The Richmond Observer was made aware of the charges shortly after Flores made his announcement, however it took several weeks to obtain the records.

William R. Toler of the Richmond Observer contributed to this story. Imari Scarbrough is a freelance reporter for the Stanly News & Press.

 

Last modified on Wednesday, 30 January 2019 18:26