Three men arrested in connection with payday loan fraud

Local News

Courtesy: Bountiful Police Dept.

BOUNTIFUL, Utah (ABC4 News) — On Wednesday, police say they arrested three men for allegedly committing payday loan fraud.

Employees called police to a FedEx in Bountiful, stating that four men were outside of the store and two frequently entered the store acting in a suspicious manner, according to police documents.

Upon arrival, the officers questioned the four men, who had differing stories of how they knew one of the men. Police questioned the man, Michael Martinez, separately. Martinez allegedly stated that he did not know the three other males and that they had picked him up, asking him if he wanted to make between $1,000 and $2,000, police records state.

Martinez said that the three men asked him if he had a Utah identification card and Martinez told them he did.

Police documents state that the three men identified as La Teek Leonard, Martin Bokanga and Djimy Okutennde. Okutennde reportedly took Martinez’s identification card into the FedEx and printed off a fraudulent paystub in Martinez’s name from Tele-performance. Martinez stated that he never worked at Tele-performance.

During the investigation, officers found two documents printed from FedEx, one being the paystub with Martinez’s information, and the second included information from a Wells Fargo account.

The three men were taken to Bountiful Police Department for interviews. Leonard and Bokanga would not be interviewed without a lawyer present, but Okutennde agreed to speak, according to police.

He stated that an individual called sly finds people who will work for money. Okutennde then would pick the people up, make sure they had identification, and would use their information to apply for a payday loan. The loan would be split between all involved parties. The person whose identification was used would collect all of the negative credit, according to police.

Police records said that Okutennde said he had done this work for the past year and had participated in similar activities with 20 strangers. Officers found many documents supporting Okutennde’s story upon receiving a search warrant.

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