MIDLAND, Texas (KMID/KPEJ)- A Carrollton, Texas man is behind bars after police said he stole a credit card number and racked up charges while living with some family in Midland. Joseph Mark Hardee, 23, has been charged with Credit/Debit Card Abuse against an Elderly Person. He is also facing a Theft of Property charge out of Ector County, jail records reflected.
According to an arrest affidavit, on August 2 of last year, a woman went to the Midland Police Department to file a credit card abuse report on behalf of her father. The woman told police that her nephew, identified as Hardee, had been living with her parents for quite awhile until her mother’s death in 2021. The woman said after her mom died, Hardee moved unexpectedly and that after he was gone, and while helping her father with his finances, she discovered some unexpected charges on the credit card bill.
The woman stated that her mother had allowed Hardee to use the credit card one time when he first moved in to buy a cell phone and she suspected Hardee had taken a picture of the card and later used it to make online purchases. According to records from AT&T, Hardee used the card without permission to pay for his cell phone service for months after the original purchase. He also reportedly used the credit card number to send himself money through Cash App. He used the same card to buy things from Amazon, as well as make purchases from Apple, Spotify, Nintendo, PlayStation, and Chipotle as well, the affidavit stated. The victim told police this “wasn’t the first time (Hardee) had done this”.
The victim stated that even after Hardee’s grandmother died, he tried to use the card to pay his phone bill and send money to himself via Cash App. Police later requested records from AT&T, Cash App, and other big tech stores to confirm that Hardee had made the purchases. In all, police discovered about $1,100 in fraudulent charges.
In March, police were finally able to obtain an arrest warrant for Hardee, he was taken into custody on April 20 and remined behind bars as of Monday afternoon. His bond has been set at a combined $30,000.