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Sunday, December 16 , 2018, 10:25 pm | Fair 53º

 
 
 
 

Case Dismissed Against Santa Barbara Woman Accused in Money Order Scam

DA's Office says it wouldn't be able to prove that suspect Passion Moore knew the package contained fraudulent checks

The case against a Santa Barbara woman who local police believe has facilitated money order scams throughout the country was dismissed Wednesday in Santa Barbara County Superior Court.

Passion Moore, 47, was arrested in December after receiving counterfeit money orders through the mail from Nigeria, but Senior Deputy District Attorney Brian Cota determined that his office could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Moore knew the package contained fraudulent checks.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Lee Carter said that other than having the checks in her possession, the District Attorney’s Office would have to prove that Moore knew the package contained fraudulent money orders.

Cota talked with police and Secret Service personnel and determined they can’t prove the specific intent, Carter added, so the case was dismissed instead of moving forward.

Packages of the money orders were intercepted by the Secret Service, and one was let through to Moore. Police arrested her soon after she picked it up, according to Detective John Ingram.

Ingram said police have no information on related cases, but the fraudulent money order scam is very common in the United States. He said Nigeria is the source of many of the scams, but it’s rare that the mailings come directly from that country, which is a red flag.

“We are seeing more money orders that are either someone trying to pass them or realize they’re bogus and notify us of that fact,” Ingram said. “We caught this one, and there are 100 more right behind it.”

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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