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Police: woman racked up nearly $20,000 in credit card debt in estranged husband's name

West Pittston Police said the woman opened four credit card accounts in her estranged husband's name without his knowledge.

PITTSTON, Pa. — A woman was arrested after police said she racked up nearly $20,000 in credit card debt in her estranged husband's name.

West Pittston Police said 35-year-old Jennifer Costello saddled her estranged husband, Thomas Costello, with so much debt from these fraudulent charges that he lost his home.

"That's sad to lose your home over something somebody else did. That's just, that's too much," Ashley Shalna of Plains Township said.

Jennifer was charged with identity theft, theft by deception, and forgery.

Police said Jennifer created four different credit card accounts in Thomas' name.

Police said Thomas noticed these fraudulent charges in July of last year. 

Thomas told police Jennifer had access to all the information she needed to open these accounts in his name, including his social security number.

Credit: WNEP
Jennifer Costello

Officers said because Thomas didn't know these accounts were created, the accounts became delinquent. 

That hurt Thomas' credit rating and the ability to get loans.

"Some of the accounts that were opened were opened while they were together, while they were married, but they were opened without his knowledge," West Pittston Police Chief Michael Turner said. "Unfortunately, he found out too late, which led to today's charges."

Jennifer Costello is free on $20,000 unsecured bail and her preliminary hearing is set for August 13.

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