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Keturi, Turner in court

A Modesto man and woman charged in a massive credit card fraud scheme pleaded not guilty in Tuolumne County Superior Court on Thursday.

Jeremy Keturi, 35, and Shatece Turner, 29, face 11 counts of felony identity theft and 11 counts of felony commercial burglary.

The scheme may have netted the alleged crooks more than $100,000 in ill-gotten goods and services, with many of the transactions occurring in Tuolumne County, according to law enforcement officials. 

Turner still had a warrant out for her arrest Thursday but, tearfully, appeared in court at the time of Keturi’s scheduled arraignment. She was arraigned and remanded into custody.

She posted $30,000 bail at 4:13 p.m.

Keturi bailed out of Stanislaus County Jail at 6 p.m. Feb. 13, before he could be transported to Tuolumne County Jail. He was booked on several charges including grand theft, burglary, identity theft and conspiracy. 

Modesto police arrested Keturi on Feb. 13, following an investigation by the Sonora Police Department.

The investigation began on Feb. 10 when a Ventura County identity-theft victim contacted Sonora police about charges to her credit card.

She said her credit card number was used to purchase thousands of dollars worth of merchandise at several Tuolumne County businesses. She, however, was still in possession of her card.

A Sonora police investigator contacted the businesses and obtained surveillance videos, lists of items purchased and other documentation.

A photo lineup pointed to Keturi and Turner as suspects, Police Chief Mark Stinson said.

Further linking the suspects to the crime were pictures on Keturi’s Facebook page of Turner wearing some of the allegedly stolen property and a ski trip that appeared to have been paid for with a fraudulent card. 

Modesto and Sonora police searched Keturi and Turner’s Espana Drive home on Feb. 13 and found about $10,000 worth of property believed to have been purchased with bogus cards. Some of the items were in their original packaging.

Police said they also found:

• credit card receipts totaling more than $100,000, dating back to June 2012. 

• several credit cards in other people’s names.

• 500 credit card blanks with magnetic strips, an embosser and a credit card skimmer.

• lists of people’s names, birthdays and Social Security numbers.

Stinson said investigators have discovered fraudulent transactions in at least four counties — Tuolumne, Stanislaus, San Joaquin and Merced.

He said they could be prosecuted by district attorneys in each county.

Both defendants are scheduled to appear in Tuolumne County Superior Court for preliminary examination at 8:15 a.m. March 22 in Department 4. 

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