Friday, March 14, 2003

Mich. cracks Covington ID theft case

By Jim Hannah
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Michigan police arrested a man this week who they say has been using a Covington man's identity to gain credit for nearly a decade.

Roger Levere Coleman, 41, of Benton Harbor, Mich., was arrested Wednesday and charged with identity theft, a felony that carries up to five years in prison.

Michigan State Police say this kind of identify theft isn't unusual. What made this case different is that the victim had almost an identical name - Roger Lee Coleman of Covington.

The Benton Harbor Roger Coleman was also charged with false application for credit and unlawful use of a financial transaction device, each carrying up to four years in prison on conviction.

He remained in the Berrien County Jail on Thursday evening in lieu of a $10,000 bond.

Benton Harbor is on Lake Michigan.

Roger Coleman of Covington couldn't be reached for comment, but Michigan authorities said his good credit had been used by a thief to defraud merchants in at least three states.

The Herald-Palladium in St. Joseph, Mich., reported that Roger Levere Coleman allegedly used the Covington man's credit to get, but not pay for, everything from flowers to a Chevy Blazer.

In 1995 he went on a buying spree from the QVC Home Shopping Network, charging the purchases to the Covington man.

Roger Levere Coleman has previously lived in Euclid, Ohio, where he still owes utility bills and a mobile phone bill, all in the Covington man's name.


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