Fraud case still under investigation

GREENFIELD — No arrests have been made so far in the identity theft case that affected more than 100 people and originated with complaints from Hancock County residents, but police say the investigation continues.

The case peaked in February when officials raided three Indianapolis homes and discovered thousands of dollars of merchandise bought with credit cards taken out in the victims’ names.

Delving through the information has proven tedious, Greenfield Police Department Chief John Jester said.

“We are still working on it diligently,” he said. “It’s just one of those cases that is all paperwork, and it’s going to take a little while.”

In late 2014, family members of several residents at Golden Living Centers-Brandywine, a nursing home located in the 700 block of North Swope Street in Greenfield, came forward to report they believed their loved ones’ personal information had been stolen.

So far, four victims have contacted police to say their identities were among those that were stolen, but Detective John Cutler, who is leading the investigation, is working to track down other possible victims. Jester said the department still hasn’t discovered how far the case stretches or how many victims are local.

Tracking down victims can take a while, Detective Lt. Randy Ratliff said, because at times, there is only a name or Social Security number to use as identification rather than an address or phone number.

Those affected are assumed to be mostly senior citizens, and the offenders have racked up more than $100,000 in charges on fraudulent credit cards.

It could be months before charges are filed, Jester said. For now, his detectives are working to inform other law enforcement agencies to see if any of their ongoing fraud case investigations coincide with this ring.

Charges likely will be filed in Marion County after suspects are identified.

While this is a particularly extensive fraud case, Ratliff said it’s not unusual for one tip to develop into something bigger.

“Usually when you have a case you’re able to trace, you find that there are multiple victims,” Ratliff said.

Caitlin VanOverberghe is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3237 or