Clear Lake man charged in theft from a bank account – Leader-Telegram

CHIPPEWA FALLS — A Clear Lake man has been charged after he reported paid a credit card bill from a bank account that was nearly identical to his.
Jason R. Laberee, 43, was charged in Chippewa County Court with theft between $10,000 and $100,000, and identity theft for financial gain. Laberee will appear in court Feb. 14.
According to the criminal complaint, a victim told police in June about fraudulent activity on her WESTconsin Credit Union bank account. She started going through her bank statements and discovered that money had been withdrawn from her account going back to 2019. She saw that there was a routine payment for a credit card through American Express.
A lead teller at WESTconsin Credit Union told police that the payments were not scheduled, automatic payments, and the American Express cardholder was named Jason Laberee. The Chippewa Falls Police Departmet investigator went through the transaction history and located 41 payments from the victim’s account to the American Express credit card, totaling $18,097.
“Investigator (Cody) Monson learned that Jason R. Laberee had a WESTconsin Credit Union account that was only a single digit off of (the victim’s) account,” the criminal complaint states. “Investigator Monson also learned that Laberee would have had to provide his WESTconsin Credit Union account number to American Express for the account to be linked to his American Express card.”
The officer interviewed Laberee, who said he received a letter from American Express that they were closing his card because of a problem.
“When asked if he intentionally linked someone else’s account to his card,” Laberee said no,” the complaint reads. “When asked if he ever noticed that no money was being taken from his account when he paid the card balance, Laberee said no, claiming he never paid attention.”
The investigator told Laberee he knew something happened but didn’t intend to maliciously hurt anyone. “Laberee nodded his head and agreed.”
Laberee said he intended to pay the victim back the full $18,000 owed.
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