Group Used Over 1,000 Stolen Credit Cards
Baltimore, Maryland - U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles, Jr. sentenced Byron A. Green, age 29, of Baltimore, Maryland, today to 75 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for conspiracy to commit bank fraud and aggravated identity theft in connection with a scheme to defraud banks and credit card companies using stolen credit card information. Judge Quarles also ordered Green to pay $521,312.67 in restitution.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Barbara Golden of the United States Secret Service – Baltimore Field Office; and Chief James W. Johnson of the Baltimore County Police Department.
According to Green’s plea agreement, from September 2005 through November 2008, Green and his co-conspirators defrauded banks and credit card companies using stolen credit card information. Green purchased false credit cards and gift cards in which the magnetic strip on the back of the card had been re-encoded by other co-conspirators with data from stolen credit card account numbers purchased off of the internet. Green also purchased the equipment necessary to re-encode the stolen credit card numbers onto credit cards and gift cards himself, and purchased those stolen credit card numbers from other members of the conspiracy. Green and his conspirators edited the “track data” from the stolen credit cards before encoding it onto the credit cards and gift cards so that the name shown for the credit account would match the name of the person using the fraudulent card.
Eventually, Green also sold re-encoded cards to other people, or used individuals known as “strikers” to go into retail stores and use the fraudulent credit cards to purchase other gift cards. These individuals would be paid cash or a percentage of the goods the coconspirators were able to obtain by using the cards.
On December 19, 2007, a search warrant was executed at Green’s home. Hundreds of sets of stolen credit card account information and over 100 re-encoded, counterfeit credit cards and gift cards were seized.
In order to pay a gambling debt owed to Jamal Snead, Green provided Snead with re-encoded credit cards and information about how to purchase stolen credit card account numbers over the internet. Green helped Snead obtain the equipment needed to read and re-encode credit cards. Snead, age 32, of Baltimore, was convicted in connection with a separate scheme to steal treasury checks from the mail and cash the checks, as well as his participation in Green’s scam, and was sentenced to 75 months in prison.
During the course of the scheme, Green and his conspirators transferred and used credit card information relating to over 1,000 stolen credit cards, issued by more the 10 financial institutions, resulting in a total loss of $521,312.
Four other Baltimore defendants have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and aggravated identity theft in connection with the scheme to use stolen credit card information. Two defendants have been sentenced, including Michael Hayes, age 31, who was sentenced to 144 months in prison on June 22, 2010 after admitting to additional offenses of breaking his electronic monitoring, fleeing the jurisdiction and committing a new fraud offense while under pre-trial supervision. The remaining two defendants, including the ringleader, Robert Bernard Forrest, age 30, of Baltimore, are scheduled to be sentenced on December 17, 2010.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein Assistant United States Attorney thanked Tamera L. Fine, who prosecuted the case.