The troubles continue for former Gypsy Sisters star Mellie Stanley as the State of Tennessee has chosen to extradite her from Indiana to face multiple charges of criminal simulation for an alleged coupon scheme in multiple states.
Mellie was booked at Montgomery County Jail on Wednesday, where she posed for the latest addition to her growing mug shot collection (above). Online records indicate she faces no less than seven charges of criminal simulation with her bail set at $350,000. And remember, that is just in Tennessee. She still faces similar charges in Kentucky with reports that there may be at least two more states where the alleged fraud took place.
In case you missed it, Mellie and her estranged husband George Lee have been accused of creating counterfeit coupons for use at Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us stores, which reportedly netted the couple more than $18,000 in merchandise. She was initially apprehended in Louisiana on December 6 on a warrant issued in Kentucky. After being extradited to Kentucky two weeks later, Mellie was later released on bond early last month. Tennessee then issued their own warrant for Mellie’s arrest and she was picked up in Indiana on March 19.
Through the help of crowd sourcing by friends (and family, to a lesser degree), Mellie was able to post bail in Kentucky and retain a private attorney. I can’t imagine she will be able to gather enough to pay a Tennessee bail bondsman, which usually charge between 10 and 15 percent of the bail amount. In other words, Mellie needs to raise at least $35,000 — from my understanding.
UPDATE – The Leaf-Chronicle has obtained the Tennessee arrest warrant, and they have been able to provide more information about the specific incident. Mellie and others (names and how many are not stated) allegedly entered the Clarksville, Tennessee Toys “R” Us store on November 22 where Mellie presented a clerk with “counterfeit coupons on her phone, with modified bar codes.” There were reportedly seven coupons, each valued at $300 each, which were then used to purchase gift cards and merchandise totaling $2,412. Mellie was reportedly identified based on surveillance camera footage.
As far as the charges, here is the Tennessee statute for criminal simulation:
2010 Tennessee Code
Title 39 – Criminal Offenses
Chapter 14 – Offenses Against Property
Part 1 – Theft
39-14-115 – Criminal simulation.
39-14-115. Criminal simulation.
(a) (1) A person commits the offense of criminal simulation who, with intent to defraud or harm another:
(A) Makes or alters an object, in whole or in part, so that it appears to have value because of age, antiquity, rarity, source or authorship that it does not have;
(B) Possesses an object so made or altered, with intent to sell, pass or otherwise utter it; or
(C) Authenticates or certifies an object so made or altered as genuine or as different from what it is.
(2) A person commits the offense of criminal simulation who, with knowledge of its character, possesses:
(A) Any machinery, plates or other contrivances designed to produce instruments reporting to be credit or debit cards of an issuer who had not consented to the preparation of the cards; or
(B) Any instrument, apparatus or contrivance designed, adapted or used for commission of any theft of property or services by fraudulent means.
(b) Criminal simulation is punishable as theft pursuant to § 39-14-105, but in no event shall criminal simulation be less than a Class E felony.
Thanks to the Gypsy Gossip: Tattles Tales Facebook page for the tip on Mellie’s extradition.