Cuba couple charged with making fraudulent credit card purchases | Archives

Cuba Police got more than they bargained for in December when they executed a search warrant from the Knox County (Tenn.) SheriffÞs Department at a North Branch Road home.

In the end the residents, Lenny and Heather Horowitz, were charged with making hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of fraudulent credit card purchases for jewelry and household items and even a Ford Explorer.

ßThey were investigating theft of a credit card number,à said Cuba Police Chief Gary Fries of the Knox County SheriffÞs Department. ßThere were evidently items being charged to this account that were being mailed to Heather Horowitz.à

Allegedly, Mrs. Horowitz charged $26,000 worth of jewelry to that account, including watches, rings and other accessories.

Chief Fries said officials from Knox County sent pictures of the purchased jewelry so Cuba police would know what to look for.

However, local police said once they entered the HorowitzÞs North Branch Road home they found it ßloaded with large boxes of everything,à Chief Fries said.

Allegany County District Attorney Terrence Parker said police seized ßa huge quantity of property bought with ill-gotten gainsà from the HorowitzÞ home.

Allegedly, officers found between $200,000 and $300,000 of merchandise, ranging from jewelry, pillows, comforters, and other items. Chief Fries said paperwork found in the home showed that Mrs. Horowitz had charged more money using a different name. Police also found other credit cards in her children’s names.

The Horowitzes have two young children, ages 9 and 11, and allegedly used their names and Social Security numbers to obtain various credit cards and other items.

A Ford Explorer was also found to have been bought allegedly with a fraudulent number.

ßIt was leased to Heather and her (son),’ said Chief Fries. ßShe and (Mr. Horowitz) used their sonÞs identity with a different date of birth, and the husband signed as the son.

ßThe vehicle was seized because they only made one month of payments,à added Chief Fries.

Cuba Police charged Mrs. Horowitz, 34, and Mr. Horowitz, 36, with third-degree criminal possession of stolen property. mrs. Horowitz was also charged with third-degree grand larceny. Both were sent to the Allegany County Jail after the charges were filed in December.

mr. Parker said Mr. Horowitz posted bail via bond and will reappear in court at a later date. mrs. Horowitz also posted bail via bond and cash, but an incident earlier this week landed her back in jail until her next court appearance.

mrs. Horowitz claimed she could not wear the electronic monitoring device, Chief Fries said. ßFrom my understanding she called the probation department to tell them it was irritating her skin,à said the chief. ßThey asked for medical confirmation.à

Though she submitted a doctorÞs note, officials found the note to be a forgery, Mr. Parker alleged.

Allegany County Probation Department Pretrial Release Coordinator Linda Palmer said Mrs. Horowitz violated the conditions of her bail, which put her back in jail.

ms. Palmer said Mr. and mrs. Horowitz will be appearing in Cuba Town Court later this month at a date to be determined.

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