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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A second Miami-Dade police officer accused of taking part in fraud scheme involving credit repair businesses has gone before a judge.
On Wednesday, George Price, 42, and co-defendant Fatima Ruiz, appeared before Magistrate Judge Andrea M. Simonton. Price and Ruiz are both charged by indictment with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit mail fraud, and mail fraud.
A third defendant named in the indictment, Miami-Dade police Officer Rafael Duran, was arrested on April 2nd, 2015.
According to the indictment, Price, Ruiz, and Duran were involved in a scheme which provide false police reports to credit repair businesses.
Price would allegedly create false police reports claiming individuals were the victims of identity theft. He would then file the reports.
A member of the conspiracy would then reportedly make sure Price’s reports were sent to the credit reporting agencies so the negative items could be removed from the person’s credit history.
Price created the false police reports in order to promote the success of the credit businesses and in return would receive payment from his co-conspirators, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
“This indictment demonstrates that individuals who facilitate the sale of false police reports will be prosecuted accordingly because their fraudulent conduct undermines the public’s trust in the integrity of our law enforcement community,” said U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer in a statement.
Ruiz, who worked at the credit business, would provide funds to a co-conspirator who acted as an intermediary between Price and the companies. The intermediary in turn would pay Price.
According to the indictment, Ruiz would also send the credit reporting agencies letters claiming that customers of the credit businesses had been victims of identity theft. Ruiz would include false police reports to support the claims made in these letters.