Pixel Tracker

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.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >