A statewide credit card fraud scheme was broken up recently, according to state law enforcement officials.
Seven people in Dauphin County, which is in the central portion of the state, have been arrested for their role “orchestrating a widespread credit card fraud scheme that defrauded individuals out of more than $100,000,” the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office said.
A statewide grand jury report found that victims of the crimes live across the country.
The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office made the following allegations:
The grand jury found that the scheme was operated by two different groups—one led by Rahsean Jackson, 41, of Bronx, New York, and one led by Jaleel Geddes-Kelly, 40, of Cambria Heights, New York. Both groups used Capital One credit cards associated with actual Capital One customers whose identities and credit card information had been stolen. The cards had the names of the scammers on them, but the information contained in the magnetic strip belonged to the victims. The defendants, who were referred to as “swipers,” would swipe the credit cards in order to bypass the security of the cards’ chips. The swipers made unauthorized purchases of Visa gift cards at supermarkets across Pennsylvania. The gift cards were often then turned into money orders.
The Jackson group used the stolen cards to make unauthorized purchases in the amount of $31,899.91 at GIANT food stores and $29,794.99 at Weis Markets, for a total of $61,694.90. The actual card owners were from Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Ohio, Oklahoma, Illinois, North Carolina, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, Colorado, Kansas, Washington DC, Texas, Iowa, Massachusetts, and California. Many of the victims were over 60 years of age. One of the victims was a 74-year-old individual whose credit card was used to make $4,567.71 in purchases in one day.
The Geddes-Kelly group made transactions only at GIANT food stores in the amount of $53,198.32. Once again, the credit information belonged to Capital One customers in not only Pennsylvania, but also Arizona, Maine, Idaho, New York, Ohio, Delaware, Illinois, Florida, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Colorado. As with the first group, many of the victims were over 60, with several in their 70s, the eldest being 87 years of age.
The transactions occurred in Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Centre, Columbia, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Luzerne, Lycoming, Monroe, Montgomery, Montour, Mifflin, Northampton, Northumberland, Schuylkill, Snyder, Union, and York Counties.
“The Office of Attorney General’s Criminal Prosecutions Section has successfully shut down a corrupt organization that was stealing the identities of individuals across the country and defrauding victims, including many seniors,” state Attorney General Josh Shapiro said in a statement. “I’m grateful for the hard work of the Statewide Investigating Grand Jury, the Pennsylvania State Police, and Office of Attorney General agents to hold these scammers accountable and achieve justice for their victims.”
The seven charged face counts including corrupt organizations, dealing in proceeds of unlawful activity, and identity theft, and other related offences.
Editor’s Note: All individuals arrested or charged with a crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty. The story was compiled using information from police and public court documents.