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Identity fraud investigation of Aiken County Council chairman’s wife ‘ongoing’ | News

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An investigation into the multiple allegations of identity fraud against the wife of Aiken County Council Chairman Gary Bunker is “active” and “ongoing,” Sgt. Caleb Lee of the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office told the Aiken Standard on Wednesday.

Two incident reports that named Michele Bunker as a suspect were filed with the sheriff’s office in neighboring Georgia – one in June and the other earlier this month.

Lee said Richmond County financial investigators had made the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office aware of the reports because Bunker, 51, lives in Aiken.

Capt. Eric Abdullah of the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that notification Wednesday.

“They did call us, but it was determined that it was their case,” Abdullah said. “We’re not involved at all.”

The wife of Aiken County Council Chairman Gary Bunker has been named as a suspect in at leas…

When the Aiken Standard asked Lee if there were any arrest records for Michele Bunker in Richmond County, he replied, “I don’t see where there have been any.”

The two victims identified in the reports filed in Richmond County are employees of Augusta-based Hospice Services of GA.

According to a report filed in June, a 50-year-old male victim said that a representative of LifeLock, an identity theft protection firm, “informed him that an unknown person attempted to get a loan using his name and date of birth.”

In addition, the report stated, there was a previous incident in February during which someone using the victim’s name, date of birth and Social Security number tried to get a $7,500 loan through Best Egg, an online lending platform.

The second report, filed Sept. 11, was about an incident that involved a 63-year-old female victim. The victim’s personal information had been used to open a USAA bank account, the report stated.

Bunker worked for Hospice Services of GA from Jan. 2, 2018 until May 5 of this year.

She was the director of nursing for the firm.

Hospice Services of GA co-owner Christopher Rud told the Aiken Standard on Tuesday that Bunker had been fired.

Rud said his company put her “on leave with pay” after it found out about some of the allegations against her. Later, Bunker was “terminated,” he said, after she “violated” an agreement related to that suspension.

Aiken County Administrator Clay Killian declined to comment Wednesday about the allegations against Michele Bunker or to discuss what, if any, effect they might have on her husband’s position as a county elected official.

Said Aiken County Council Vice Chairman Andrew Siders on Wednesday: “I am praying for the Bunker family. Hopefully, this will all be resolved and they can move on with their lives.”

The Aiken Standard was unable to reach Gary Bunker for comment Tuesday. Attempts to contact him Wednesday also were unsuccessful prior to this story’s publication deadline.

Lee said he didn’t know of any other reports that had been filed with the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office against Michele Bunker.

​Dede Biles is the Aiken County government, business and horse industry reporter for the Aiken Standard. Follow her on Twitter @DBethBiles.

Source: on 2019-09-25 16:26:15

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