Employee charged with fraudulent use of company card

Anthony B. Ayers-Ingemi (Submitted photo)
Anthony B. Ayers-Ingemi (Submitted photo)

An employee of a local business was arrested on felony warrants Friday stemming from allegations he used a company-issued fuel card to steal over $5,700 in funds via unauthorized transactions.

Anthony Braxton Ayers-Ingemi, 27, of Hot Springs, was taken into custody shortly before 2:30 p.m. and charged with one count of fraudulent use of a credit card and one count of theft of property over $5,000, each punishable by up to 10 years in prison, and also had a misdemeanor warrant for failure to appear on some previous traffic charges.

Ayers-Ingemi, who lists no prior felony history, was later released on an $8,000 bond and is set to appear May 3 in Garland County District Court.

According to the probable cause affidavit, on Jan. 27, 2023, the co-owners of Life Safety Systems LLC, a fire protection service, filed a complaint with Hot Springs police alleging that between October 2022 and January 2023, one of its employees, identified as Ayers-Ingemi, had fraudulently used his company charge card to withdraw $5,743.55, over 51 separate occasions.

The alleged victims had received a phone call from the manager of their bank who asked both of them to come to the bank to observe the bank statement. In reviewing the statement, they reportedly found 51 unauthorized transactions made by Ayers-Ingemi using a card that had been issued to him "only for purchasing fuel for the company vehicle."

It was noted the card used was issued to Ayers-Ingemi specifically and "no one else had access" to the card at the company.

Of the 51 charges in question, beginning Nov. 15, 2022, until Jan. 25, 2023, Detective Philip De Foor was able to obtain video footage or still shots for 11 of them at two different bank locations, both in Hot Springs.

The videos reportedly showed Ayers-Ingemi withdraw a total of $1,560 during the 11 transactions, including one where Ayers-Ingemi's wife withdrew $100 using the company card.

The other 40 transactions were allegedly from Ayers-Ingemi receiving cash back from various gas stations in Hot Springs while using the card. After further investigation, the two warrants were issued on Dec. 5, 2023.

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