Saturday, May 25 2013 4:36 PM EDT2013-05-25 20:36:14 GMT
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BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -
A man who once wore a badge is again accused of identity theft.
This time, investigators said he took tens of thousands of dollars.
"I was truly devastated. I thought he was actually a friend," said Cheryl Doub.
It's why Doub trusted him with her company-issued debit card asking him to make some purchases for her when she wasn't well. Little did she know...
"He took my credit card number to set up auto debit's accounts that were tracked back to his address for his home to pay for his car," said Doub.
Doub said because the finances at work were in a transitional phase, the unauthorized swipes were never caught. So from January 2012 until this past January, Doub said Kenneth Neck, 28, ran up a tab in the tens of thousands of dollars paying for his own utilities, maintenance to his vehicle, various local bars, a TV, hotel reservations in New Orleans and more.
"Between East Baton Rouge Parish, Orleans Parish and West Baton Rouge Parish, about $55,000 is what we have," said Doub.
But Neck allegedly setting up new accounts is not a first.
"He took the person's information and used it to open an account," said Casey Hicks, spokesperson for the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office.
Hicks said they fired him in 2009 after Neck had been a deputy for five years. Hicks said Neck went to take a report from a victim of identity theft. Then used his work issued laptop to access her personal information, making new accounts with that victim's information.
"Any time you have someone who is a deputy or a former deputy that chooses to break the law, it is harmful to law enforcement," said Hicks.
The 9News I-Team went by Neck's home to try and talk to him, but no one answered the door even though sources tell the I-Team the white SUV parked in the driveway, belongs to Neck.
In 2009, Neck was charged with malfeasance in office, identity theft, computer fraud and access device fraud. The Baton Rouge Police Dept. also added charges: three counts of identity theft and three counts of computer fraud.
Then on March 7, 2013, Neck was arrested again and charged with access device fraud and theft of $45,632.29.
"You may possess your card but the criminal, bad guy could be using your card at the same time it's in your wallet or in your purse," said Lou Velez, resident agent-in-charge of the U.S. Secret Service.
Velez said thieves using the 16-digit credit card number and making new cards or accounts is a growing problem. It's why he said people need to know their card's whereabouts at all times, check their statements and bank accounts often and if you use a debit card, don't think that pin keeps you safe.
"If they don't have your pin, it can still be a lot of damage," said Velez.
Neck did serve a two year probation after his 2009 arrest when he opened three separate accounts and ordered $3,000 worth of electronics from Apple. Those orders were stopped before delivery.
In the recent arrest, Neck is out on a $30,000 bond. No word yet on a court date.