State of Delaware Department of Safety and Homeland Security


Division of State Police


Superintendent Robert M. Coupe

DSP News Release: Sunday, July 26, 2009

State Police Nab Two in Fraud Scheme


Location of Incident: Mast Circle, Dover, Delaware, Kent County


Date of Occurrence: May 19th May 31, 2009



  • Tena Abernathy, 51, of Mast Circle, Dover, Delaware
  • John T. Moore, 57, of Mast Circle, Dover, Delaware


Resume: Detectives from DSP Troop 3 have made a pair of arrests on Friday the 24th in a fraud scheme that bilked citizens and businesses alike, from all across the country, of over $13,000.00


This case came to light on May 21st when a police officer from the Stevens Point Police Department, in Wisconsin, called Troop 3 detectives advised one of their residents reported being unknowingly caught up in a complicated check fraud scheme when he tried to sell his car online.


The resident used to list his car and made arrangements to complete the sale via check after an interested party sent him an email. A short time later this subject received the check. It was for more than the asking price for the car. With the check came a set of directions. It advised a portion of the check was for the car, a portion for the troubles of the seller and a portion to be sent to Tena Abernathy in Dover, Delaware via Money Gram (the seller was to obtain the Money Gram himself). The seller did as directed, but later learned the original check he got was counterfeit. It was also noted that no one came to get the car.


As the investigation continued and more cases were linked together, detectives learned that in April and May, Tena Abernathy, and her accomplice John T. Moore, had compromised multiple credit cards and began to make various online purchases primarily for office equipment.


Warrants were completed and on Friday Abernathy and Moore were charged with identical offenses: eight counts of Theft by False Pretense (felony), two counts of Theft by False Pretense (misdemeanor) and two counts of Unlawful Use of a Credit Card (misdemeanor). Both subjects were released on a $20,000.00 unsecured bond.


Investigators are asking that anyone who believes that they too have been victimized by these two suspects to call the Troop 3 Financial Crimes Unit at 302.697.4454.


Underscoring the idea how this type of credit card and fraud scheme knows no boundaries, the victims identified in this investigation thus far are from the following states: Wisconsin, Florida, Tennessee and Kentucky.


Tena Abernathy


James T. Moore




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