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Charge: St. Petersburg telemarketer eavesdropped to steal credit card numbers

ST. PETERSBURG — A St. Petersburg man used credit card numbers stolen from customers of a marketing company he worked for to spend nearly $30,000 on dinners and limos, authorities said.

After a four-month investigation, deputies arrested Christopher Albert Fregapane, 25, of 40th Avenue N, on a felony charge of scheming to defraud, according to an arrest affidavit.

Fregapane was in the Pinellas County jail Friday in lieu of $10,000 bail.

Deputies said Fregapane gathered the credit card information while working as a telemarketer for Eclipse Property Solutions, a marketing firm he joined in July 2009, said Sgt. Tom Nestor, Sheriff's Office spokesman.

Deputies said he and another employee, Michael Northcutt, 26, would listen from their cubicles as coworkers repeated customer credit card information aloud to confirm accounts.

They wrote the numbers down, police said, and used the information to cover expenses in Pinellas County such as gift cards, furniture, dinners and renting limousines, he said.

Investigators began looking into the scheme in October, he said, when a cardholder who lived in Oklahoma noticed he was being charged for expenses in Pinellas County.

"There's a possibility that there could be other victims out there who haven't reported anything yet," he said.

Nestor said detectives have probable cause to arrest Northcutt on the same charge, though they think he is out of state

"They were partners in all this together," he said.

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Charge: St. Petersburg telemarketer eavesdropped to steal credit card numbers 02/12/10 [Last modified: Friday, February 12, 2010 4:26pm]
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