KOSCIUSKO COUNTY, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) -- Two women from Illinois, who were allegedly involved in a Nigerian scam, are behind bars in Kosciusko County.
Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department detectives arrested Desiree Starlette Blackburn, 20, and Barbara Ickes, 39, both of Harvard, Illinois, on their alleged involvement on a large-scale check scam.
K.C.S.D. detectives had recently been contacted by a local resident who had believed he was being “scammed” on a fraudulent transaction. Officers investigated the provided check and discovered that it was part of a well-known international scam.
Detectives were able to follow the trail of the fraudulent check back to Ickes at her residence in Illinois. At that location, officers located an elaborate “check-printing” process with fictious banking institutions along with lists of several other potential victims throughout the country.
Ickes also provided detectives information that implicated Blackburn and her involvement in the scam that allegedly began in October of 2012 when they began forwarding money to a Nigerian location.
Detectives were able to seize equipment and computers at the scene that are currently being analyzed by the Indiana State Police Cyber Crimes Unit. Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Detectives have also shared information uncovered from this arrest with United States Secret Service agents to determine if federal authorities can continue the investigation further.
Blackburn and Ickes were preliminarily charged with felony corrupt business influence & control, along with felony attempted theft. Ickes was also additionally charged with felony forgery.
Both are being held in the Kosciusko County Jail on individual $20,000 bonds.
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