Gibbon woman accused of stealing nearly $30k from friend

A Gibbon woman is accused of stealing tens of thousands of dollars from her friend’s bank account.

Christina Elbert, 50, was charged Thursday in Brown County Court with one felony count of financial transaction card fraud.

A criminal complaint says the victim first noticed a fraudulent $900 charge on her checking account in January 2022. The victim mentioned the charge to Elbert, her friend, who allegedly said: “don’t you remember giving me that money to help fix my pool?”  The victim later told police she had written Elbert a check for $900, but had never agreed to give her money.

In January 2023, the victim noticed more fraudulent activity on her account and reported the thefts to police.  The victim said she had changed her debit card three times, and believed Elbert had photographed the numbers and written them down.

The complaint says the victim provided bank statements showing $27,115.56 worth of fraudulent charges, including dozens of payments to Capital One, purchases for pool chemicals, Roden & Fields, and Amazon.

Investigators say payment records showed the pool chemicals, Capital One payments, Amazon, Verizon, and Century Link charges were associated with Elbert’s address and account information.

Court documents say Elbert initially said she never used the victim’s debit card, but eventually admitted she owes the victim between $20,000 and $30,000.  Elbert told police some of the transactions were items the victim asked her if she needed, or she used the victim’s card and paid her back.  When police asked why she didn’t use her own card, she said she “didn’t know.”

The complaint says Elbert admitted the majority of the Capital One charges were hers, but maintained that all the transactions were a mistake.  She told police the victim had probably given her the three debit card numbers.

The victim denied providing her card information to Elbert.

Investigators say it’s clear Elbert was using the victim’s debit cards to make purchases and pay her bills.



More about: