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Criminal Charges, Volume XLIX: Scammers speak!

Jeremy Simon

Often, we get a version of crime stories from the police and courts — but not the alleged perpetrator. This week’s Criminal Charges attempt to do a little to make up for that imbalance.

Not only do we have our usual collection of recent tales involving credit cards and crime, but we also get to hear the voices of the alleged scammers, one who stands accused of stealing from Wal-Mart and then fleeing police and the another two who are charged with stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars via improper and falsified therapy sessions.

Woman accused of stealing, fleeing police: I forgot my credit card
An Illinois woman had a perfectly logical explanation for why she allegedly tried to steal merchandise from Wal-Mart before leading police on a car chase: She needed the credit card she left behind in the car.

criminal-charges.JPGLate on the afternoon of June 30, store employees at the Wal-Mart in Galena, Ill., called police after Roxanne Elliott attempted to leave the store without paying for the items in her shopping cart. Shortly thereafter, Galena police caught up with her at the R&L Gas Mart and approached Elliott’s car.

However, according to a criminal complaint, Elliott refused to get out of her car and instead sped off. Police followed her — but she just wouldn’t stop. The Galena Gazette reports that Elliott refused to pull over for the police officer, “who was in a fully marked Galena Police vehicle with both the lights and siren activated within the city of Galena.”

“Sheriff’s office personnel stopped at the construction area on U.S. 20 near the Territory Veterinary Clinic to wait for Elliott, who ultimately stopped her vehicle and again refused to get out,” the Gazette reports.

Luckily, Elliott has a simple explanation for the whole ordeal, saying it amounts to little more than a misunderstanding.

Elliott says she had visited Wal-Mart to fill a prescription and do some shopping. Then, upon reaching the registers near the store’s exit, she realized she had left her credit card in her vehicle parked outside. As she left the store, employees phoned the cops.

According to the paper, “Elliott admits she was ‘loopy with medicine and stuff that I’m on.'” When store staff wouldn’t allow her to leave, Elliott says she told them just to leave the merchandise where it was. Elliott claims some of the items in her cart were paid for.

If that part of her explanation was good, the next was even better.

Elliott claims that when police confronted her at the gas station, she told the officer that she needed to get home. She claims the police officer then told her there no problem. Elliott then drove off, only to be pursued and pulled over at a motel, where the officer approached her car with his hand on his gun.

“He said, ‘I’m breaking out your window and I’m going to blow your f-ing head off,'” Elliott tells the Gazette. “I wasn’t going to sit there and have my head blown off,” she says, in what is quite possibly the most logical part of her entire version of events.

Elliott claims the officer broke her window before she again sped away.

Once again, police gave chase. “Cornered by officers, she did pull over at the construction stoplight near the Territory Veterinary Clinic. She said she was afraid for her life. She stayed in the car,” the paper reports. “She claims a sheriff’s deputy broke her passenger window. She said officers took her from her car. One officer ‘threw me on the ground and was stomping on me. I was cut up and beat up really bad,'” Elliott says.

Police dispute Elliott’s claims, saying that she tried to leave the store with her cart. Police say that officers never threatened to shoot her and didn’t stomp on her.

Elliott is charged with resisting an officer, fleeing from police and retail theft. If convicted of one of the latter charges, she could be sentenced to one to three years in prison and fined $25,000.

Psychologist, wife accused of fraud can’t bail themselves out with a credit card
A husband and wife duo from Rochester, N.Y., won’t get the opportunity to bail themselves out of jail using plastic.

Dr. Michael Miran and Esta Miran were charged with defrauding the Medicaid and Medicare programs out of approximately $258,000, according to a press release from New York Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo.

“The Mirans are accused of allowing unqualified staff, including Mrs. Miran, to perform therapy sessions, charging for longer sessions than were actually performed and billing for group therapy sessions when records show individual therapy sessions were occurring at the exact same time,” the release says. Attorney General Cuomo says the couple cheated taxpayers out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“The indictment against the couple was unsealed in court at their arraignment,” news station WHEC.com reports. “One of the charges accuses the Mirans of booking four to five intensive psychotherapy sessions in the same hour and conducting psychotherapy sessions from just one to 12 minutes at a time.”

Apparently, while in court, the couple were somewhat “loopy” as to why they had to remain in jail.

“We would never flee!” WHEC reports Esta Miran told Judge John Connell. “We could have fled at any time. Can’t we be released? We would come back,” Miran said. “Can we get out of jail today?” she reportedly asked the judge.

The judge replied that if the Mirans posted the $5,000 bail and turned over their passports, they could leave. “Can I give you a credit card?” Dr. Esta Miran reportedly asked the judge. “No, you can’t do that,” Connell said.

See related: Bail yourself out of jail — with a credit card

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