2014 News Releases

Sheriff's Office
Adrian H. Anderson, Sheriff

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For More Information Contact:

Captain John Watterson
(845) 486-3860

December 19, 2014        Print version

Queens woman charged in identity theft investigation; Sheriff’s Office seeks to ID more victims

The Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office reports the arrest of Towonder Collins, age 43 of Queens NY, for identity theft and criminal possession of a forged instrument in connection with an ongoing fraud investigation.

Ms. Collins is accused of possessing stolen credit card information from victims residing in Dutchess, Orange and other surrounding counties. The stolen credit card information was then allegedly used to create fraudulent credit cards in Ms. Collins’ name. The fraudulent cards were used at various Dutchess County stores to purchase items such as gift cards, cigarettes and various electronics.

At this time, the investigation has indicated that there are numerous victims who are unaccounted for, and the Sheriff’s Office Detective Division is actively working to identify more victims in this case.

The New York State Police and Town of Poughkeepsie Police also have similar identity theft cases that have been linked to Ms. Collins, and the Sheriff’s Office is currently working in conjunction with those agencies.

At this time, Ms. Collins has been charged with Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument 2nd degree and Identity Theft 2nd degree, both felonies. After being processed, Ms. Collins was arraigned before the Town of Poughkeepsie Court and remanded to the Dutchess County Jail in lieu of $30,000 cash bail or $60,000 bond. Ms. Collins is scheduled to reappear before the same court on 12/23/14 at 9:30 am.

Anyone who has fraudulent charges on their accounts from the Dutchess County area between 11/1/14 and 12/20/14 is urged to contact the Sheriff’s Office Detective Bureau at (845) 486-3820 and ask for Detective Harris or Detective Pfitscher.

Victims should report fraudulent charges to their financial institution immediately. Due to the nature of the ongoing investigation, no further information can be released at this time. All tips will be kept confidential.

As with any criminal case, the charges described above are merely accusations and Ms. Collins is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.