The Johnston County Sheriff’s Office has arrested a Clayton woman they say is behind a widespread scam. They believe there are many more victims who have not yet come forward.
A break in the case came in January when the suspect, 40 year-old Sheila Latonya Williams, called a local HVAC company requesting they repair a broken thermostat at her home on Norris Road. Williams paid for the service visit with a counterfeit $117 check. Once the check bounced, the HVAC company notified deputies of the incident along with her real address.
Through their investigation, deputies determined Williams was behind a counterfeit check scam where she would lease apartments using the names of her two juvenile children, but would give fake birthdays and other information on the applications to appear they were adults. Williams paid the apartment managers with counterfeit checks.
By the time the checks had been returned by the bank, Williams already had the keys to the apartments. It would then take months to have her evicted. The scams occurred in the Clayton and Garner areas.
Williams has been charged with multiple counts of identity theft and obtaining property by false pretenses. She was arrested March 7th and placed in the Johnston County Jail under a $100,000 bond.
Detectives believe there are other businesses and individuals who were swindled by Williams using her children’s names. The victims likely have had a hard time reporting the incidents since the names given to them were juveniles, plus there is no record of them with the fake birth dates and addresses provided.
If you recognize Williams as a suspect in any fraud case you are encouraged to contact the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office at 919-989-5000.