A 33-year-old Ann Arbor man faces 16 felony charges for allegedly using a Saline woman’s name to rack up more than $53,000 in credit card charges and to buy a Mercedes Benz.
Mark Messmore was arraigned before Washtenaw District Court 14A4 Judge Cedric Simpson on Feb. 12 on charges of identity theft and illegal possession and use of a financial transaction device. His preliminary exam was waived he was bound over to Washtenaw 22nd Circuit Court with Judge Archie Brown presiding.
Messmore was released on a $5,000 bond. A pretrial hearing is set for April 1.
The charges are a result of a Saline Police Department investigation by Detective Mike King.
According to the police report, Messmore opened six credit card accounts in the name of his ex-girlfriend, with total debt and payments $53,713. He also opened an account in her name with Mercedes Benz Finance and purchased a vehicle for $64,077, according to the report. The account was listed as a joint account, but the victim knew nothing about it, according to the report.
The victim dated Messmore between 2014 and 2018. In late 2018, credit card companies began sending her notices seeking payment on accounts she said she knew nothing about, according to the report. In May of 2019, she was served with a complaint on behalf of Discover Bank. She then learned of pending civil actions from Capital One and American Express. After learning of the lawsuits, she obtained a credit report showing a total balance of nearly $50,000. They all listed her address as that of Messmore’s Ann Arbor condo. She told police she’d never lived there.
He also used her name to buy a Mercedes Benz in 2014.
She told police she’d never given Messmore her social security number or permission to open a line of credit in her name. She also told police Messmore might have had access to her information because he did payroll for an Ann Arbor store at which she worked in 2013.
According to the police report, Messmore opened an American Express account in the woman’s name in June of 2013. The initial statement contained a $9,999 charge to GTEXT LLC, a company owned by Messmore. A week later, a $9,999 charge was made to MMSC Consultants, also owned by Messmore. Credit lines opened with Discover and Capital One also revealed charges at or near the limit to MMSC Consultants, according to the report.
The woman confronted Messmore about the debts in July of 2019, according to the report. She told police he acknowledged the debts were his and would refer the accounts to his bankruptcy attorney.
Messmore is also in court on six more felony charges as a result of a Washtenaw County Sheriff’s investigation. They include two counts of identity theft, two counts of using a computer to commit a crime and one count of possessing a financial transaction device and one count of illegally using a financial transaction device.
Messmore is a former teacher at Saline Area Schools. He was fired in 2017. According to the police report, he first met the victim when she was a sophomore at Saline High School. They began dating when she was a junior in college.