Kissimmee woman charged with stolen valor and fraud

Polk County Sheriff's Office

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – An Osceola woman is behind bars, facing fraud charges and more after she lied about serving in the military to get a Dodge pickup truck, according to deputies.

Vanessa Tesky, 48 was arrested on Wednesday following a fraud investigation from November. The investigation began after Tesky went to the Posner Park Chrysler Dodge Jeep dealership in Davenport to purchase a 2016 Ram 1500 pickup truck. During the transaction, Tesky presented a Mississippi driver’s license to the car salesman along with a uniformed services identification card. She stated she was empoyed by the United States Airforce, working as a pilot making $7,000 a month, which the salesperson believed.

Due to her poor credit rating, Tesky was offered a large down payment plan. She agreed to the payment and issued two false checks from a closed USAA bank account. Tesky paid a total of $60,285.30 (including a $500 military rebate) and left the dealership with the truck. She returned to the dealership on November 25 to pick up a Florida tag and issued three more false checks from the same account totaling approximately $1100 for truck accessories.

In December, the dealership was notified about the false checks and contacted Tesky to ask her to return the vehicle or pay off the down payment through a wire transfer. Tesky said the vehicle was in Maryland and that she was involved in an accident with the vehicle.  She refused to pay for the truck, claiming the crash was due to the truck’s faulty equipment. After many attempts, the salesperson was not able to repossess the vehicle.

After an investigation, deputies determined Tesky is not a military dependent and should not have been in possession of military identification.

Detectives found Tesky in Osceola on Wednesday with a new Toyota.  She told detectives she wasn’t an active member of the military, but said she is a dependent of her ex-husband, who is in the U.S. Air Force.   She also claimed there was over $60,000 left in the bank account attached to the dealership’s check.

Investigators found checkbooks from USAA Bank, a military dependent ID card and a letter written to a Ford dealership that claims she is a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force.

Tesky faces the following charges:

  • Fraud
  • Soliciting funds/Misrepresenting Military
  • Grand theft
  • Uttering forged instrument
  • Obtaining vehicle by false pretenses

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