• Police: Man threatened teen girl into fraud scheme

    By: Mark Becker


    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - It was a human trafficking investigation that led detectives in Charlotte to an alleged fraud scheme with ties to Jamaica.

    Police said Talib Muhammad, 35, raped a 15-year-old girl and forced her with threats of violence to be part of the fraud scheme where victims were told they needed to get Green Dot Money Cards to collect their lottery winnings.

    Police arrested Muhammad at his home in west Charlotte after the girl told them he had held her at his home, had sex with her and threatened her if she didn't work for him.

    But Muhammad's brother said the girl hasn't told police the truth.

    "My brother didn't do nothing to her. She lied. She overlied," said Tyron Adger.

    He said the girl had showed up at their house several months ago and told them she was 25, and that what she told police is not true.

    "It's a shame," Adger said. "We helped that girl so much and she lied like that."

    The girl had told police that Muhammad had pistol whipped her and threatened other violence if she didn't help him cash debit cards that they had collected from victims who were told they needed to cash the cards to collect lottery winnings.

    Detectives searched Muhammad's house looking for evidence in that case, but they say proving those cases is difficult because victims are often hard to find.

    "The number of victims that are out there. This is just a small group that we've come across and it's just one guy in a bowl we're looking for with all of these suspects," said Det. Andrew Phillips, a detective in the CMPD Fraud Unit.

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