TAMPA, Fla. – The Florida Highway Patrol is looking for a man suspected of using other people’s identities to cash counterfeit checks.
Maurice Cortez Foster, 42, and Tyriz Diamond Nancy Smith, 21, are accused of posing as other people to illegally obtain identification cards.
The two are also accused of opening checking accounts under different names.
The FHP isn’t sure Foster is even his real name.
Troopers have arrested Smith, but Foster remains on the run.
Foster and Smith try to obtain a Florida ID
FHP troopers arrested Smith on May 17 when she and Foster tried to illegally obtain a Florida driver’s license at the Hillsborough County Tax Collector’s Office in Tampa. Smith tried to get a driver’s license using the name Aljhnay Allexus-Jahnique Jackson-Bembry. Smith had a Michigan birth certificate and social security card with the alias too.
Foster accompanied Smith during the visit, initially claiming to be her uncle.
FHP said a driver’s license examiner at the office became suspicious that Smith – who was posing as Jackson-Bembry – couldn’t even spell her name properly without looking at her birth certificate.
The examiner then asked Smith for her date of birth and she didn’t know that either. Smith spelled the names wrong on her Florida ID card application too. The examiner notified her supervisor, who contacted the FHP’s Bureau of Investigations and Intelligence.
Documents run through the NCIC found a warrant out for Jackson-Bembry’s arrest out of St. Clair Shores, Michigan. The Michigan driver’s license photo of Jackson-Bembry did not match Smith, who was trying to obtain using the alias. Authorities also checked Jackson-Bembry’s public Facebook page too.
Smith also didn’t recognize a photo of Jackson-Bembry’s mother, who was listed on the birth certificate in her possession.
After authorities confronted her, Smith admitted her real identity. She said she was trying to get a Florida ID in Jackson-Bembry’s name because of the active warrants in Michigan.
An NCIC search found Smith had a valid Michigan ID in her own name with no warrants. Smith also had a debit card and Pennsylvania ID in Jackson-Bembry’s name. Troopers arrested Smith shortly afterward.
She is charged with four counts of fraudulent use of personal information, providing a false name to law enforcement, possession of a forged credit card, providing a false statement to obtain a driver’s license, uttering a forged instrument and perjury.
Troopers confront Foster
When confronted by authorities, Foster told authorities he did not know Smith’s real name and that he’d just met her before giving her a ride.
When troopers asked Foster about Smith’s last name and age, “he began to sweat profusely and his hands and legs were shaking uncontrollably,” a news release from the FHP said.
Authorities released Foster when a National Crime Information Center (NCIC) revealed no warrants and a valid South Carolina ID.
Afterward, FHP contacted Woodforest National Bank in South Carolina. It was the name of the bank on the debit card Smith obtained using the Jackson-Bembry alias.
A fraud investigator with the bank told FHP that Smith opened a checking account in Jackson-Bembry’s name on March 17. Smith cashed a counterfeit check for $5,332.82.
The fraud investigator provided FHP with surveillance footage from the fraudulent transaction, which showed Foster accompanying Smith.
The FHP is in the process of obtaining an arrest warrant for Foster’s arrest. Detectives in multiple states are also working on obtaining arrest warrants for Foster.
Foster and Smith are accused of fraud in multiple states, including Tampa, Florida; Columbia, South Carolina; Detroit, Michigan; Toledo, Ohio; and Philadelphia.
According to the FHP, Foster has been arrested several times in Michigan for fraud-related charges.
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