LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - An Orlando, Florida man who once posed as a Jefferson County Sheriff's Office employee has pleaded guilty to theft charges.
On Tuesday, Attorney General Andy Beshear joined law enforcement at the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office to announce the arrest and guilty plea of 28-year-old Lemere D. Townsend.
Townsend pleaded guilty to two counts of theft by deception and was ordered to repay two victims nearly $10,000.
"I am thankful to the team of investigators and prosecutors who helped secure a guilty plea in this case and return the money stolen from the victims," said Beshear. "While it is often very difficult to catch con artists, this case is proof that my office and local law enforcement are working together to find and hold accountable those willing to take advantage of Kentucky families."
The charges come after an investigation into Townsend by Beshear's office after they received complaints regarding scams that occurred in February. Beshear's office found Townsend pretended to be an employee of the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office and threatened to serve a resident with a subpoena for credit card fraud. Following the threat, the resident deposited $4,989 into a bank account controlled by the defendant.
A second charge was filed after the Attorney General's office found Townsend defrauded another Jefferson County resident. According to Beshear's office, Townsend pretended to be a representative from "Westgate Resorts," and told the victim that they had a major credit card issue and would face a lawsuit unless they deposited $4,995 into a bank account linked to the defendant.
Part of Townsend's agreement says he must serve a five-year sentence for each crime, which will run concurrently for a total of five years, to be probated for a period of five years or until restitution is paid in full.
Townsend will be formally sentenced on November 30 in Jefferson Circuit Court.