South Florida trio arrested for alleged scheme using homeless people to cash fraudulent checks


GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Aneko Antonio Cartwright, 25, of Ft. Lauderdale; Amanda Kay Karstens, 40, of Largo; and Catelyn Sylvia Kirchner, 33, of Pompano Beach were arrested yesterday for multiple counts of criminal use of another person’s identification information and other charges.

At about 11:30 a.m. yesterday, a Gainesville Police Department officer with the 8th Judicial Task Force – Gainesville Domestic Highway Enforcement Team conducted a traffic stop at mile marker 375 of I-75 on a black Dodge Durango for following too closely and a window tint violation. Cartwright was the driver of the vehicle.

The officer reported that he smelled marijuana as soon as he made contact with the occupants of the vehicle and could see pieces of marijuana and burnt marijuana cigarettes inside the vehicle. The officer asked Cartwright to get out so he could write him a written warning, and while he was writing the warning, Cartwright reportedly said spontaneously that there was illegal marijuana in the vehicle that belonged to him. He also reportedly admitted to smoking marijuana in the vehicle.

A probable cause search of the vehicle, based on the smell of marijuana and Cartwright’s admission that he had marijuana inside the vehicle, reportedly produced two stolen driver’s licenses, a stolen Social Security card, seven stolen debit/credit cards, one fraudulent bank check, three Adderall 30mg pills, two Oxycodone 10mg pills, 27 Clonazepam pills, 18.9 grams of marijuana, and a large amount of cash, banded with rubber bands. None of the names on the cards matched any occupants of the vehicle.

The officer also reported that multiple window punches (used for breaking into vehicles) were on the rental car’s key chain. The officer wrote that these tools are used to break into vehicles and steal wallets and purses, then criminals use the debit/credit cards before they get canceled; checks are also stolen, and homeless people are recruited who resemble the driver’s license pictures to cash the checks until they are voided by the bank. The people who are recruited to do this are called “cashers,” and they are given drugs, food, or money in exchange for cashing the checks.

The officer made contact with the owner of some of the cards, and he said his car had been broken into by smashing a window on March 10 in Bentonville, Arkansas. His wallet and his wife’s purse were stolen, and the victim said there were multiple attempts to cash fraudulent checks on their account, ranging from $6,000 to $10,000 each.

A fourth person in the car reportedly had a large amount of cash, but post Miranda, she said it belonged to Karstens and Kirchner. The officer noted that Karstens and Kirchner are homeless and also denied ownership of the cash. He wrote, “It is very clear that this illicit currency is proceeds from the defendants cashing victims’ checks throughout the country, as no one wanted to claim the currency.”

Post Miranda, Cartwright reportedly said the marijuana and the Adderall and Oxycodone pills belonged to him. He has been charged with 11 counts of fraudulent possession of another person’s ID, possession of burglary tools, possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana, and two counts of possession of a controlled substance. He has a juvenile criminal history and one felony conviction; he has served one state prison sentence for fraudulent possession of another person’s ID. Judge Susan Miller-Jones set bail at $290,000.

Post Miranda, Karstens reportedly said she had stayed in a hotel for two days because she did not match the pictures on any of the driver’s licenses and that the Clonazepam pills belonged to her. Once inside the jail, a narcotics pipe was reportedly found concealed inside her, although she was warned that introducing contraband into the jail would result in an additional charge. She has been charged with 11 counts of fraudulent possession of another person’s ID, possession of burglary tools, possession of a controlled substance, and introducing contraband into a detention facility. She has 24 felony convictions, is currently on probation for drug possession, and has served one state prison sentence. Judge Susan Miller-Jones set bail at $290,000.

Post Miranda, Kirchner declined to speak with the officer. She has been charged with 11 counts of fraudulent possession of another person’s ID, possession of burglary tools, and providing false identification information to law enforcement. She has one felony conviction for drugs. Judge Susan Miller-Jones set bail at $260,000.

Articles about arrests are based on reports from law enforcement agencies. The charges listed are taken from the arrest report and/or court records and are only accusations. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. 

  • “Homeless people are recruited who resemble the driver’s license pictures to cash the checks…” Here in Gainesville we’ve got a virtual smorgasbord of those around here.

    From my reading, a window was broken and items stolen in Arkansas? Karstens & Kirchner are both homeless but they found a home here…go figure.

    I keep wondering when the Dems are going to demand their elected representatives turn the lights off. Until then, we all have to deal with it.

  • WTF are these people so attracted here for, can you imagine why? 🧐🧐🧐🥺🥺🥺

  • A narcotics pipe was found inside Karstens? 😳 That must have hurt…then again, maybe not.

  • Want to know the answer to fix this??? Prison slavery, or hard work, or whatever the heck you want to call it. These prisons should hard labor boot camps where prisoners are forced to work from sun up to sun down 6 days a week. Take away the basketball courts and all the junk food commissary and the ping pong tables. Prison has gotten wayyy too comfortable and a lot of these thugs have no problems doing life on the installment plan and continuing to go back and back and back. And a lot of these criminals are so twisted that they easily su

    • Parchman Farm is (was) an example of the work camps you describe. The produce fed the prisoners and proceeds paid the bills. I’m sure it’s shut down now, civil rights and all.

  • The days of Parchman Farm are probably over. In 2020 a federal investigation was opened by DOJ. Apparently it was based off of complaints filed by a couple of Rappers. I remember something from last year that the DOJ reported that the prison was inhumane. Go figure. Since when is prison suppose to be fun?

  • Why wasn’t the fourth person arrested for knowingly holding the proceeds of the criminal activity??

    • because they snitched out the whole operation i’d imagine and publishing the name could create blowback for the enterprise?

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