Crime

Man allegedly stole credit card numbers obtained through Haiti telethon T-shirt sales

Michael Nathaniel Webb
Michael Nathaniel Webb

A Lexington man is accused of charging thousands of dollars on credit card numbers provided during the Hoops for Haiti relief effort in January.

Police charged Michael Nathaniel Webb, 31, on Monday with fraudulent use of a credit card under $10,000. He is also charged with unlawful access to a computer and tampering with physical evidence, and he was arraigned Tuesday in Fayette District Court.

While employed by Cat Fan-Attic, an athletic apparel store on Harrodsburg Road, Webb "had access to a list of 170 credit card numbers which were received during the Hoops for Haiti" telethon in which the store donated proceeds from the sale of T-shirts to the relief effort, says a complaint filed in Fayette District court. The list involved only phone-in orders, said Lester Boyd, co-owner of Cat Fan-Attic.

Sales of Hoops for Haiti shirts soared after University of Kentucky basketball players wore them during the Jan. 17 telethon. The shirts sold for $10, and the net profit went to Haiti relief.

The telethon raised $1.5 million in relief funds for the earthquake-stricken country.

In an arrest citation filed in court, police say Webb admitted to taking a list of credit card numbers from Cat Fan-Attic through the telethon. The citation also said Webb admitted "to accessing his girl friend's computer to complete multiple fraudulent transactions on multiple credit card numbers from the list."

In addition, Webb admitted to police that he "destroyed the list of numbers by throwing the list in a dumpster in order to prevent from being caught by the police in possession of the list."

By using the credit card numbers, according to court documents, Webb paid a $120 bill to Kentucky American Water Co., ordered merchandise from Dick's Sporting Goods that were shipped to his home, made two loan payments and purchased tickets to Cinemark.

Webb is no longer employed by Cat Fan-Attic.

Boyd said Tuesday the company sent letters within the last few days to notify affected customers. "We're encouraging them to contact their financial institution and the police if they have been a victim," Boyd said.

Police have identified 25 victims, police spokeswoman Sherelle Roberts said.

Webb remains in the Fayette County jail in lieu of a $14,000 full cash bond.

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