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Florida woman charged with using fake military ID to buy truck

By TORI WALKER | The Ledger (Tribune News Service) | Published: February 24, 2017

POSNER PARK, Fla.— A 48-year-old woman accused of using fake military identification and faulty checks to buy a car was arrested in Osceola County on Wednesday, the Polk County Sheriff's Office said Friday.

Vanessa Tesky of Kissimmee faces charges of fraud, soliciting funds/misrepresenting military, grand theft, uttering forged instrument and obtaining a vehicle by false pretenses, said Michele Cash, a Sheriff's Office spokeswoman.

An investigation into Tesky began in November 2016 when she went to the Posner Park Chrysler Dodge Jeep dealership to buy a 2016 Ram 1500 pickup truck, Cash said.

Tesky gave them her personal information and said she was employed by the U.S. Air Force as a pilot, who was paid $7,000 a month, reports said.

She had a U.S. Uniformed Services identification card and a Mississippi driver's license.

When the salesperson completed a credit check, it was discovered Tesky had poor credit, reports said.

The salesperson, who believed she was a service member, tried to accommodate her and said she could be approved with a large down payment for the truck.

She agreed and issued two false checks from a closed USAA Bank account. The total sales price after taxes and dealer fees was $60,285, reports said. This included a $500 military rebate.

Tesky left the dealership with the truck, Cash said.

On Nov. 25 she returned to the dealership to pickup the Florida tag for the vehicle and issued three more false checks for $1,100 to pay for truck accessories, reports said.

On Dec. 2, USAA Bank told the dealership that the checks were drawn on a closed account. The salesperson then tried to contact Tesky a number of times about her either returning the vehicle or paying for the down payment with a wire transfer.

But Tesky said she had been involved in an accident. She said the truck was in Maryland at a U.S. Navy base, reports said.

She claimed the vehicle crash occurred because of faulty equipment and refused to pay, Cash said.

The salesperson attempted to repossess the vehicle but when that didn't work, the dealership called the Sheriff's Office.

The investigation revealed the military card she showed to the dealership indicated she is a military dependent. She also did not show actual ID cards but photo copies.

Officials with the dealership said Tesky said her identification cards had been stolen, reports said.

Detectives set up an interview with Tesky but she did not show up and left detectives a voicemail saying she was in a hospital in Puerto Rico.

Detectives sent a subpoena to USAA Bank for account information and learned the account was closed Feb. 5, 2016, reports said.

The Department of Defense confirmed Tesky has never been in the military, is not a military dependent and should not have military ID.

On Wednesday, detectives traveled to Osceola County to find Tesky, who was in possession of a new Toyota she had just purchased, reports said.

Detectives said they believed she was trying to do the same thing with Toyota of Central Florida in Orlando.

The Osceola County Sheriff's Office will investigate the Toyota purchase.

During an interview, Tesky said she was not in the U.S. Air Force but said she is a dependent of her ex-husband who is in the Air Force, Cash said.

She also said she has more than $60,000 in a bank account and the check she issued was from the wrong bank account.

Detectives said they found Tesky had check books from USAA Bank, a military dependent identification card and a letter written to Mullinax Ford in Kissimmee that indicated she is a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force.

She was arrested and booked into the Osceola County Jail. She will be transferred to the Polk County Jail at a later date.

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©2017 The Ledger (Lakeland, Fla.)
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