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Saturday, Mar 28, 2015
Local News

Wife of jail inmate accused of being part of identity theft scheme

Highlands Today staff report

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SEBRING - An Avon Park woman was arrested after admitting that she knew her husband was giving her stolen credit card information to help him to be able to make calls from jail, according to a report released Thursday.

Jessica Leigh Hardin, 22, 1446 W. Avalon Road, Avon Park, was arrested by the Highlands County Sheriff's Office and charged with third-degree grand theft, criminal use of personal identification and credit card fraud.

The arrest came after a man reported that someone had made several transactions using his credit card that totaled $355. Several involved inmate telephone calls, while one was for a jail commissary charge, the report said.

The report said that payments, which can be made from outside of that jail, allow prisoners to make telephone calls to designated numbers.

The investigation indicated that Jessica Hardin's husband, Justin Hardin, was in the jail and that he provided information from the victim's credit card so that his wife and a family member of another prisoner could make deposits, the report said.

The Hardins were neighbors of the victim and had lived with the victim for a period of time, the report said.

Although Jessica Hardin denied being involved, she told authorities, "I knew he was using someone's information that he probably shouldn't be using," the report said.

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