The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) raided two Prince George’s County residences at around 5:00 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 24. Among the two raids, at least 12 were arrested on suspicion of having engaged in credit card fraud.
Court documents filed with the Eastern Virginia District Court show describes how the defendants allegedly acquired the numbers off of thousands of credit cards belonging to dozens of unsuspecting victims. After obtaining them, it’s alleged that they then distributed them to others.
In the documents, the FBI notes they first started following some of the defendants’ movements and tapping their phones as far back as March of 2015. It’s then that an employee at a BP gas station had noticed one of the defendants carrying at least 60 credit cards with them as they checked out there.
After that Manassas Park, Virginia incident, police were able to intercept both phone calls and text messages exchanged between many of the defendants. In that correspondence, at least one defendant reportedly acknowledged having purchased the credit card number from the dark web.
Another intercepted conversation even reportedly involved one of the suspects expressing concern that a man sitting in a pickup in a hotel parking lot was really a police officer on their trail. It turns out the man’s fears were rightfully placed. By then, police had narrowed in on the Manassas Days Inn and one of the hotel’s employees who was allegedly copying guest card numbers and passing them on to them.
FBI records showed that the band of defendants would apparently take stolen card numbers and transfer their data to the magnetic strips on fake credit cards. They’d then reportedly use these cards to purchase things such as cigarettes and gift cards at Harris Teeter and ABC Liquors. They reportedly targeted these stores because they hadn’t implemented chip-reading technology for credit card purchases yet.
If you’ve been charged with having committed a white collar crimes such as fraud, then it’s important to note that it’s likely that police have invested significant resources in building your case long before your arrest. Not just any mediocre defense strategy will protect your interests. Therefore, it’s important to consult with a Prince George’s County white collar crime attorney to ensure that you understand your rights in your criminal case.
Source: WTOP, “FBI raids in Prince George’s Co. related to credit card fraud ring,” Kristi King, accessed Sep. 28, 2017