2 suspects in Elkhart fraud investigations avoid criminal charges

Charges previously filed against fourth suspect moving through court system
Published: May. 31, 2023 at 5:48 PM EDT
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ELKHART, Ind. (WNDU) - The Elkhart Police Department says criminal charges will not be filed for two persons of interest that were identified as part of multiple fraud investigations.

Last week, the department asked the public to help them identify three suspects tied to investigations into fraud at a bank and business in the Michiana area earlier this month. Police said they were able to identify the individuals within minutes of sending out the release.

Since that last update, police say a man and a woman identified in their investigations came forward and cooperated with an EPD detective. Therefore, the department will not be requesting criminal charges for them.

However, the Elkhart County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office previously filed charges against a fourth suspect who was arrested in connection with their investigations, and that case is moving through the court system.

Randy Friend
Randy Friend(Elkhart County Sheriff's Office)

As 16 News Now told you last week, Randy Friend, 44, of Goshen was arrested and booked into the Elkhart County Jail at the beginning of the month.

Police say they were called back on May 1 to the Teacher’s Credit Union located at 201 County Road 6 W. on reports of a man in a red Jeep Renegade who was trying to withdraw money from an account that was not his by presenting an ID car that was not his. The bank teller did not give the man any money, and he left the bank before police arrived.

Police found the red Jeep a few minutes later and pulled it over in the Avalon Woods apartment complex. Police say the suspect, identified as Friend, gave officers an incorrect name, and had an outstanding warrant out of Goshen.

During their investigation, officers learned that Friend fraudulently secured a loan and purchased the Jeep using someone else’s name. Friend was subsequently arrested and booked into the Elkhart County Jail for identity deception, attempted theft, and his outstanding warrant.

Anyone with any information regarding this crime or any other crime is asked to contact Michiana Crime Stoppers 574-288-STOP, 800-342-STOP or visit michianacrimestoppers.com or the Elkhart Police Department.

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