New Kensington woman accused of stealing ex-boyfriend’s identity to get credit card while he was in prison

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A New Kensington woman is accused of stealing her former boyfriend’s identity to get a credit card in his name, charging more than $3,500 on it after they broke up while he was in state prison.

Melissa A. McGreal, 41, of the 600 block of Campbell Avenue was charged July 19 with felony counts of access device fraud and identity theft along with a related theft charge.

She was released from custody on a $10,000 unsecured bond to await a preliminary hearing scheduled for Sept. 7 before District Judge Frank J. Pallone Jr.

Police wrote in a criminal complaint that the sister of an inmate at the state prison in Luzerne County told investigators her brother and his daughter lived with McGreal in the home on Campbell Avenue until the man went to prison in November 2015.

The sister told police she had power of attorney for her brother and opened several PNC bank accounts on his behalf, the complaint said.

She accused McGreal, who still lives in the home on Campbell Avenue, of using the bank account to get a Discover Card in his name, according to the complaint.

Investigators said McGreal admitted to opening the credit card account but told them her former boyfriend asked her to do it so she could buy a pair of Timberland boots for him before the state banned them in prisons.

In February 2020, the state Department of Corrections suspended the sale of work boots in prison commissaries after a corrections officer at SCI-Somerset died when he was punched and kicked by an inmate wearing work boots.

Police got a search warrant for the credit card records and learned that McGreal got the credit card on Oct. 19, 2020, and made $3,565 in purchases before she stopped using it in February 2022, according to the complaint.

When police interviewed the inmate, he told them that he and McGreal lived together at a home on Freeport Road starting in October 2014, the complaint said.

He said they moved to the house on Campbell Avenue in October 2015 and that he went to prison about a month later, police said.

The man told investigators that they continued their relationship while he was in prison until they broke up around November 2020.

He told police they always kept their finances separate, and he did not give her permission to open the credit card account or buy boots or other items for him, the complaint said.

Tony LaRussa is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tony by email at tlarussa@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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