Police rounding up suspects in airport hotel fraud ring

Thursday, June 3, 2010 at 11:45pm

Law enforcement officials have indicted and arrested several people in a credit card fraud operation they claim illegally made purchases on more than 35 stolen credit card numbers.

A Davidson County grand jury last week filed a 22-count indictment on various degrees of theft and credit card fraud.

The indictment alleges 63-year-old William T. Frelix, who was charged in all 22 counts, used more than 35 stolen credit card numbers in more than 50 different transactions to pay for car parts, appliances, garage doors, lumber, power tools, a cable bill, a water bill and other goods, totaling more than $100,000 from June to September 2008.

Authorities claim Frelix was the ringleader of a theft and credit card scam outfit in which he directed others to go fishing in hotel and motel Dumpsters for other people’s credit card information.

Frelix has remained in custody since he was arrested by SWAT officers at a motel room on Brick Church Pike near Trinity Lane last October.

Police spokesman Don Aaron said the Metro Nashville Police Department’s Fraud Unit has worked the past few days to round up everyone believed to be involved in the alleged fraud, but others named in the indictment are not yet in custody.

In one instance, a contractor was offered a “good deal” on building materials. Frelix then took a list of needed supplies and went shopping at Home Depot using stolen credit card information.

According to the indictment, one of the men indicted and arrested, Dwayne Christen Wallace, was observed inside a Dumpster behind the Wingate by Wyndham Hotel at 800 Royal Pkwy. in September 2008.

The indictment states, “The only common element linking the owners of the stolen credit card numbers was that all had visited Nashville between June 4, 2008, and Sept. 29, 2008, and had stayed in either the Wingate by Wyndham Hotel, Holiday Inn Express or another hotel near Nashville International Airport.”

A list of state witnesses in the indictment includes members of the MNPD, the U.S. Secret Service, the District Attorney’s Office, American Express Global Security and Metro Codes Department, workers from Home Depot and Cenwood Appliance as well as victims from Nashville and across the country.

Others charged in the indictment include: Jasper Howard, 39, (aka Joseph McSwine); Arlene Patrice Greene, 50; Harry Van Booker, 67; Glenn S. Rankhorn, 47; Dwayne Christen Wallace, 39; Jimmy F. Avery, 48; and Michael Dyvone Anderson, 31.

In October of last year, Metro police asked the public for help locating Frelix. Police arrested Frelix after a few weeks and a tip from Crime Stoppers.

Police believe Frelix also used various aliases including William Clark, Jeffrey Cox, Robert Cox, Robert Hudson, Robert Hill and Robert Striplin.

3 Comments on this post:

By: gruntz on 6/4/10 at 10:20

This is the kind of stuff that really hurts tourism in Nashville. This is the number one problem that tourists have with out city, crime! They are not concerned about guns, English, etc. They just want to feel safe from crime and unmolested by vagrants. I know because when my relatives and friends come to visit, the crime and the vagrants is what they complain about. They never, ever mention guns in bars or anything about what language is or isn't used in government documents.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 6/4/10 at 1:10

funny, gruntz. my family is from Chicago and they never say anything about crime or vagrants but the english only and guns in bars thing makes their heads spin! maybe your family is from the backwoods or something.

By: slzy on 6/4/10 at 5:51

like chicago is not the backwoods?