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Feds probe wire scam
The United States Secret Service is investigating a scam case in Union where a man was wiring money to Nigeria.
James Harvey Epps Jr., 65, of 106 Harvey Lane, was charged by the Union County Sheriff's Office with possession of methamphetamine after deputies found the drug during a search of his home and barn. The Secret Service has adopted the other aspects of Epps' case. Sheriff David Taylor said there is a possibility Epps scammed people in Union, including his relatives.
According to a report, officers received information on July 12 that Epps was possibly scamming people out of money and wiring the money out of the country. An officer also had received a tip that Epps had a large sum of money and had well known drug dealers in and out of his home and barn on 105 and 106 Harvey Lane.  The officer presented the evidence to a judge to obtain a search warrant. He and other deputies went to Epps' property and confiscated $4,400 and several receipts where Epps sent money out and received money through wire transfers inside the barn at 106 Harvey Lane. Harvey had wired around $11,639 to a person in Nigeria. The money was being sent through Wal-Mart and Western Union.
Receipts also showed Epps was picking up money at Wal-Mart through wire transfers - $7,470 - that was sent to him from people in different states in the United States.
A quantity of what is believed to be crystal methamphetamine was confiscated from a desk drawer.
Deputies also seized Epps' computer, phone and other evidence.
"There is no doubt he was scamming people in the United States out of money and the money was being sent to Nigeria," Taylor said. "It's too early in the investigation to know what the purpose - what that money may be going to. A lot of terrorist organizations are funded through money being taken out of the United States. It could be that he was being scammed. We know he was scamming people all across the United States and he had received money here by Western Union."
Taylor said Epps' computer would provide more evidence about where the money was going and how Epps operated the scam.

(Posted July 17, 2017)

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