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CAMARILLO : Man Held in Alleged Credit-Card Scam

Ventura County sheriff’s deputies have arrested a 23-year-old man with a penchant for fancy suits, limousines and chartered airplanes who they believe made more than $500,000 worth of credit card purchases using 3,000 stolen credit card numbers.

Detective William Gentry said an informant’s tip led to the arrest of Terry Lee Fowler at the Good Nite Inn in Camarillo on Thursday. Gentry said he arrested Fowler about two years ago for similar crimes. Fowler was released from prison about four months ago, Gentry said.

“He remembered me,” Gentry said after Thursday’s arrest. “He called me by my first name.”

In Fowler’s room, authorities found airline tickets and receipts for flights to Hawaii, Florida and Reno, Gentry said. Receipts from several art galleries were also found, he said.

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“It looks like he bought some expensive pieces,” Gentry said, though no stolen artwork was found in the motel room. Fowler enjoyed limousine rides and chartered airline flights before he was arrested two years ago.

Gentry said the $500,000 estimate is “very conservative,” and charges could exceed $1 million once the investigation is complete.

A computer that Fowler used to store the numbers, along with several forms of identification with Fowler’s picture above other people’s names, was also recovered, Gentry said.

Leon Kilbert of Oxnard was arrested along with Fowler. Kilbert is accused of giving Fowler the numbers, which were stolen from a shoe store in Oxnard. Gentry did not identify the store.

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Secret Service agents and state parole officials assisted with the investigation and arrest, he said.

Fowler was being held without bail in Ventura County Jail on suspicion of violating his parole, Sheriff’s Sgt. Dee Bryce said. He also faces three credit-card fraud and forgery charges, Bryce said.

Kilbert remained jailed Friday in lieu of $5,000 bail and faces a felony fraud charge, Bryce said.


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