GAINESVILLE- A former semi-pro basketball coach and “online newspaper publisher” has been arrested and charged with eight counts of transaction card fraud and theft by deception.
According to the Hall County Sheriff’s Office, 25-year-old Joshua Brian Randolph set up an online newspaper start-up called the “Gainesville Observer” as a front to steal personal information from the employees he “hired”; 10 in all. This online newspaper had an office located at 720 Main Street in Gainesville.
Randolph, who used the alias “Kevin Cobb”, stole the identity of a relative and opened four accounts under the relative’s name; among them were a $1,300 dollar account with American Express and a $1,800 dollars account with Bank of America.
Authorities accuse Randolph of paying the employees of the “Gainesville Observer” with these forged checks while also allegedly writing fake employment/income verification letters.
Randolph is also was charged with theft by deception when he allegedly used a bogus credit to make a down payment of $2,000 for a vehicle.
But it doesn’t end there. Randolph may face extradition to Kearny County, Kansas where he allegedly presented himself as “Jazmine Stephens”, a contractor for an online hauling company. Randolph was contacted by an owner of a small business in Kansas to haul a vehicle. Randolph never hauled the vehicle and is suspected of stealing the owner’s identity to obtain credit.
As you may recall, back in October of last year, Randolph faced fraud charges from Oakwood where in that case Randolph stole the identity of a teammate on the semi-pro Gainesville Heat basketball team in which Randolph was the coach.
Randolph is being held on $11,000 dollars bond at the Hall County Jail.