A Mitchell couple was arrested Thursday on charges of illegally accessing a business’ computer system multiple times and taking control of about $20,000 in May.
Kylie and Ramon Shultz, both 36, were charged after Mitchell police executed search warrants at a residence on Pebble Beach Road and a business in the 1400 block of North Main Street.
According to court documents, the Shultzes created a bank account in the name of a Mitchell Roofing employee on May 8, using the man’s date of birth and social security number, which were allegedly obtained by remotely accessing his work computer.
The Mitchell Department of Public Safety said Friday that the Shultzes appear to have accessed the computer by using Ramon Shultz’s employer’s computer system.
Ramon Shultz was placed on administrative leave from his position as a division manager for Tech Solutions after the company heard about the warrants, general manager Ryan Thompson told The Daily Republic on Friday afternoon.
Thompson said he expects to get more information from police by next week, until which time Shultz will stay on administrative leave.
The Shultzes then allegedly accessed the business’ computer system for a second time and created an employee profile before accessing the business’ payroll account and sending $14,267.26 to the bank account they had created. They then reportedly deleted the employee profile to avoid detection.
The bank reportedly flagged the account as fraudulent, and the Shultzes were unable to collect the money.
On May 10, Kylie Shultz reportedly accessed the company’s computer system again and used the credit card information belonging to the same man to make a purchase on Amazon, though she did not receive the item she ordered.
Also on that day, she accessed the bank account connected to the credit card and changed the email account and physical billing address listed. According to a police affidavit, “Kylie stated that she did this to ‘mess’ with (the victim).”
Investigation began on May 13 when a Mitchell Roofing employee noticed a new employee had been added to the company’s payroll and paid several thousand dollars.
On May 14, Kylie and Ramon Shultz, using a different credit card number belonging to the same man, allegedly made an $1,015.48 online purchase from Menards.
On May 28, Ramon Shultz went to Menards to pick up the previously ordered items and allegedly signed the other man’s name when checking out from the store.
Kylie Shultz reportedly used a computer design program to create a fake paper license plate, which was then attached on top of the plates on Ramon Shultz’s vehicle, allegedly in an attempt to prevent surveillance cameras from identifying the vehicle.
During Thursday’s search of the residence, police seized items purchased with a stolen credit card number, computer equipment and other evidence.
No other individuals or businesses are currently believed to have been involved, though police have reported that Kylie and Ramon Shultz had kept a list of names and identifying information for multiple people and may have planned to use it to commit other crimes.
Both Ramon and Kylie Shultz are charged with unauthorized use of a computer system to knowingly alter data and attempted grand theft of more than $5,000 and less than $100,000.01, both of which are Class 4 felonies; and identity theft and grand theft of property valued at more than $1,000 but less than $2,500, both Class 6 felonies.
Additionally, Ramon Shultz is charged with forgery and substitution of counterfeit license plates, and Kyle Shultz is charged with counterfeiting license plates. They could face up to 30 and 25 years in prison and be ordered to pay up to $60,000 and $50,000, respectively, if convicted.
Additional charges could be brought against the Shultzes, and investigation is ongoing. The Davison County and Hanson County sheriffs’ offices and the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation assisted in investigating.