A four-month investigation by Colorado Springs Police Financial Crimes detectives has ended in the arrest of a woman who allegedly used a fictitious business to steal cash.
Police say the company was operating as Hidden Treasures, with a registered address of 2243 E. Bijou St. The suspect, 29-year-old Charli Amber Reaves allegedly defrauded several local and national financial institutions.
According to the arrest report, Reaves filed paperwork to register Hidden Treasures in early 2008. Detectives say she then used those documents to open business bank accounts and to purchase service with a merchant's credit card processing service.
Police say after setting up those accounts, Reaves was able to use the credit card numbers of two local victims to charge fictitious purchases through her business.
According to cops, within hours she would transfer or “launder” the deposited money to other bank accounts. Police also say Reaves would use her own credit cards to make fake purchases from Hidden Treasures. She would then allegedly write checks in the name of the business to local retail businesses to purchase goods.
Authorities say after those purchases were made, Reaves would protest these charges with her credit cards providers as fraud. The financial institutions in good faith would reverse the charges leaving the local retailer with the loss.
In total, detectives say Reaves used her business to shift around approximately $100,000 through her business accounts.
Reaves was arrested July 29, while appearing in court for another court case. Reaves faces several charges, including five counts of felony theft, one count of identity theft, and one count of forgery and fraud by check.
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