Lee County man sentenced to 5 years for credit card, COVID-19 relief fraud

Writer: Joey Pellegrino
Published: Updated:
Cedrick Carter, 39. Credit: Lee County Sheriff’s Office

A man has been sentenced to five years in prison after being found guilty of credit card fraud and COVID-19 relief fraud.

Cedrick Carter, 39, was found guilty and sentenced to five years in prison, followed by 10 years of probation, for one count of criminal use of personal identification information and one count of fraudulent use of a credit card.

Carter was originally scheduled to turn himself in to begin serving his sentence on May 1, but he failed to appear. He was arrested nine days later, which resulted in additional prison and
probation time added to his April plea agreement.

In March 2021, Carter’s landlord became suspicious when Carter reversed six months of rent
payments, causing $7,650 to be returned to his accounts with no explanation. Carter then applied for COVID-19 rent relief through the Lee Cares Act using a fabricated furlough letter related to the
pandemic from his employer, Sun Coast Credit Union.

During an investigation by the Cape Coral Police Department, it was uncovered that Carter not only fabricated the furlough letter but was unlawfully taking personal credit card and banking information
from two elderly customers while working as their bank teller. The stolen information was used to fund his rent payments, personal credit card balances, utility bills, and other expenses.

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