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Suspect sought in work-from-home scam

LAWRENCEVILLE - Police are looking for a man wanted in connection with an alleged "work from home" scam in which three individuals were ripped off.

According to police, the suspect prior to Sept. 12 placed ads in an Atlanta Journal Constitution newspaper, promising income to those who want to earn money from home.

"It was basically one of those companies you can run from your house - stay at home and make money, that kind of thing," said Cpl. Darren Moloney, spokesman for the Gwinnett County Police Department.

According to a police press release, the three victims responded to the ads and signed on to participate.

As a means of receiving their paychecks via direct deposit, the suspect asked the victims to submit deposits slips from their personal bank accounts.

On Sept. 12, the suspect allegedly deposited counterfeit checks into their accounts, and at a face-to-face meeting with the victims the next day, asked them to withdraw an undisclosed amount of money that he needed to purchase supplies.

The suspect told the victims that the money came from his company, based in Utah.

After they withdrew the money and gave it to the suspect, he was never heard from again.

He told the victims his name was John P. Thompson, but police believe the name to be a false identity.

"It's just one of those things," Moloney said. "The guy was good - he was slick."

The suspect is described as a 5-foot-8-inch, 240-pound white man in his late 40s to early 50s.

He has brown hair mixed with gray and wears glasses.

He was last seen driving an early '90s model black Geo Prizm with a Georgia Bulldog vanity plate on his front bumper and Georgia tags with a Bulldog side covering on the back.

Moloney believes that the suspect is from the area because of the Bulldog memorabilia.

Moloney said the suspect could at least face multiple counts of felony theft by deception, and additional charges could apply.

Anyone with information about the suspect is asked to call Detective Rob Rude at 770-513-5339.