July 26, 2013, Houston Texas — It happens all the time. You trust a stranger on the other end of the line with your credit card number for a service. A Houston call center employee is accused of breaking that trust and giving stolen money to inmates, including a suspected cop killer.
Investigators say the call center employee took the debit card number of a woman in Connecticut and then used that to deposit money into the Harris County jail commissaries of five inmates.
Loniquar Lonnett Stokes is accused of taking someone else’s debit card number and depositing $2,100 into the commissary accounts of five men in the Harris County Jail.
“The sheriff’s office takes the integrity of the Inmate Trust Fund very seriously, and so as soon as we’re notified that something suspicious had happened, I was immediately sent to investigate,” investigator Joshua Nowitz said.
Nowitz says Stokes stole the debit card number while working at a call center in downtown Houston. She then allegedly used it to deposit $1,500 into the account of her boyfriend, Bernar Lewis, $200 into her stepbrother Kedron Taylor’s account and $400 for friend Harlem Lewis, who is currently charged with the capital murder of Bellaire police officer Jimmie Norman.
“She did admit that she did do it. She claims this is the first time that she has used a debit card and credit card belonging to somebody else,” Nowitz said.
We tried to talk to Stokes at her home Friday. But she and her family members not only refused to talk, they called the sheriff’s department complain about Eyewitness News asking questions.
Stokes is charged with a state jail felony and is out on bond. Meanwhile, the five men she allegedly deposited money into their jail accounts still remain behind bars.
Investigators say this case is a good remind that people should check their bank statements on a regular basis.