2 Rock Hill women charged in scheme to defraud bank

A Rock Hill woman accused a year ago of befriending people only to deposit fraudulent checks into their bank accounts and steal their money was arrested this week after police say she and another woman conspired to defraud a bank.

In May, Vanessa Marie Matthews, 24, called police to report that she received letters from Founders Credit Union telling her that Ashley Nicole Barber had been cashing checks totaling $1,980 using her bank account information, according to a Rock Hill Police report. Matthews told officers she contacted Founders and explained that she didn’t authorize Barber to cash any of her checks. She also accused Barber of stealing the checks from her purse.

Police learned that both Matthews and Barber, 20, were allegedly involved in a scheme to defraud Founders, police documents show. Police issued warrants on both women.

On June 13, Barber turned herself in to police, who charged her with criminal conspiracy and fraud against a financial institution. Barber told police that Matthews was not in Rock Hill at the time.

On Wednesday, Matthews, who had been communicating with a warrants officer, agreed to turn herself in. She was charged with criminal conspiracy, fraud against a financial institution and filing a false police report.

Last year, police arrested Matthews and charged her with seven counts of federal chartered financial institution crime, three counts of forgery and three counts of criminal conspiracy after they say she befriended people, obtained their bank account information and stole their money. She pleaded guilty to eight of those charges and was placed on probation, according to records with the State Law Enforcement Division.