Bath woman charged with multiple felonies

Published 1:43 am Wednesday, December 6, 2017


BATH — A Bath woman has been charged with multiple felonies after an investigation revealed she’d been using someone else’s bank card for months, according to law enforcement officials.

Mattie Sue Cromwell, 40, of Bath, has been charged with 33 counts of obtaining money by false pretense, 22 counts of identity theft, 11 counts of forgery of an instrument and 11 counts of uttering a forged instrument.

According to Lt. Jim Vanlandingham, head of the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office criminal investigations division, Cromwell knew the victim she allegedly defrauded of more than $50,000.

“I think she was actually a tenant of his and was in a position of trust,” Vanlandingham said. “I guess she used that position of trust to divert some of his money for her own personal use.”

The charges include multiple occasions in which the victim’s debit card was used to take cash from ATMs.

“Groceries were purchased, bills were paid, and they weren’t his bills,” Vanlandingham  said.

The alleged fraud took place over a six-month period and was reported to the sheriff’s office in October.

Vanlandingham said  there may be more indictments pending once the District Attorney’s office takes the case file. He pointed out that each time a person commits this type of fraud it’s a felony regardless of the numbers.

“Every time you write a check that you’re not supposed to on someone’s account, that’s a felony whether it’s $5 or $500. If someone steals a bank card and takes $20 or $200 out of an ATM, it’s the same charge,” Vanlandingham said. “The dollar amount doesn’t matter.”

Cromwell turned herself in to the Magistrates’ Office and was ordered held at the Beaufort County Detention Center under a $15,000 secured bond.