Huntsville Police and the Secret Service have charged a Birmingham man who they say came to Madison County to commit his white collar crimes, victimizing more than 140 people and racking up more than $100,000 in stolen cash.
Allen Devon Rutledge, 31, is accused of using personal information he purchased on the dark web to create fake debit cards and withdraw tens of thousands of dollars. Huntsville police said Rutledge was tracked down after a three-month investigation and caught in the act of trying to take even more money at an ATM.
“We don’t typically have a case that involves this many victims," Sgt. Joe Kennington with the Huntsville Police Department Financial Crimes Unit told WAAY 31, adding Rutledge was able to victimize 149 in just 42 days.
There could be even more victims out there, but so far, 149 victims — all of them Redstone Federal Credit Union account holders — have reported the fraudulent withdrawals from their accounts. Rutledge was arrested for trafficking stolen identities, criminal tampering (encoded data fraud), possession of marijuana and attempting to elude a police officer.
“The only thing you can really do is keep a close eye on your personal information, keep an eye on your credit," Kennington said. "If you get an unusual credit on your account, notify the bank. And you need to report it; that way, we can investigate it."
Police said Rutledge had 78 fake cards on him when he was arrested.
Redstone Federal Credit Union said in a statement that they were aware "some arrests have been made by Huntsville Police Department in regards to fraudulent use of debit and credit cards." The statement went on to say the credit union is working with law enforcement to help identify Redstone members who may have been victimized.
"We encourage our members to check their accounts regularly and notify us immediately if they find any unauthorized withdrawals," RFCU said.