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Feds: Hamilton men scammed local Sam’s Clubs out of $50K of rewards points

Two Hamilton men with the same last name have been charged with scamming southwest Ohio Sam’s Club stores out of more than $50,000 worth of fraudulently acquired cash rewards points.

Joshua C. Leavell, 25, and Cabel D. Leavell III, 59, also have been accused of generating more than 750 fraudulently refunded AutoZone gift cards.

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The conspiracy case filed by bill of information in Dayton’s U.S. District Court alleges that the men accessed internet websites and social media pages to steal identities “to improperly purchase Sam’s Club Plus Member ‘cash rewards’ accounts, account numbers, and account passwords at discounted prices.”

The men traveled to various Sam’s Clubs in southwest Ohio and elsewhere to illegally use the “cash rewards” points to purchase large quantities of iTunes gift cards, according to the bill.

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The document said the defendants would log onto members’ rewards accounts at self-checkout kiosks to complete illicit retail transactions.

The defendants used an email address to generate fraudulent refunded gift cards worth $52,232.11 that they used in Sam’s Clubs in Cincinnati, Loveland, Washington Twp., Beavercreek and Dayton from Dec. 25, 2016, until Aug. 8, 2017, according to the bill.

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The bill of information also alleged the defendants generated about 756 fraudulently refunded gift cards while in various AutoZone stores in Hamilton and throughout the Southern District of Ohio.

No defense attorneys are listed for the Leavells in court records and no court dates have been set. Assistant U.S. attorney Dwight Keller declined to comment.

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