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Press Release

2 More In Identity Theft And Cigarette Trafficking Ring Sentenced To Federal Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of North Carolina

Raleigh – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina announced that yesterday,  Chief United States District James C. Dever, III, sentenced MAMADOU LAMARANA BAH, 25, of New York, to serve 72 months in prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release, on charges of Aggravated Identity Theft and Conspiracy to Commit Access Device Fraud.  The sentence follows a prior hearing on January 26, 2016 in which codefendant ALPHA OUMAR DIALLO, 24, of New York, was sentenced to 95 months in prison and 3 years of supervised release.  BAH and DIALLO were also both ordered to make restitution to victims.

The indictment charged that DIALLO and BAH engaged in a scheme to acquire, among other things, large quantities of cigarettes in North Carolina and elsewhere using counterfeit gift cards.  The gift cards utilized by DIALLO and BAH in the scheme were counterfeit because the data encoded in the magnetic strip of the cards had been altered to contain credit and debit card numbers that were not encoded upon them at the time they were manufactured.  Conspirators acquired stolen credit and debit card data from sources on the internet.  DIALLO and others received the stolen credit and debit card data in the form of internet email accounts to which they had access.  Conspirators used the stolen credit and debit card data to fraudulently re-encode cards for later use to purchase cigarettes and other items.

The indictment further charged that after acquiring several counterfeit cards, DIALLO and BAH used the cards, and caused the cards to be used, to purchase numerous cartons of cigarettes.  The conspirators would generally travel from one store to another in a vehicle during a single trip to acquire a large volume of cigarettes.  After acquiring the cigarettes, conspirators would transport them to other states to be resold at a profit. 

The scheme was brought to an end on January 31, 2014 when DIALLO AND BAH attempted to continue the fraud at a gas station Halifax County.  The two were caught in possession of numerous counterfeit cards and other evidence of the crime.

Investigation of the case was conducted by the United States Secret Service, with the assistance of the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office, the Wake County Sherriff’s Office, and Raleigh Police Department.  Assistant United States Attorney William M. Gilmore represented the United States.

Updated March 23, 2016