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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of North Carolina

Friday, April 4, 2014

Former Raleigh Identity Thief Sent To Prison For 54 Months For Role In Expansive Credit Card Scheme

NEW BERN - United States Attorney Thomas G. Walker announced that yesterday afternoon in federal court United States District Judge Louise W. Flanagan sentenced MAMADOU SALIEU BARRIE, 34, to serve a total of 54 months in prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release, on charges of Aggravated Identity Theft, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1028A, and Possession of Fifteen or More Unauthorized Access Devices, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1029(a)(3).  BARRIE was also ordered to make restitution to victims.

According to the Indictment and information provided to the Court at sentencing, BARRIE was a participant in a wide-ranging and ongoing credit card and cigarette trafficking scheme.  The purpose of the scheme is to use stolen credit card account information to purchase large quantities of cigarettes in North Carolina which are resold on the black market in New York and other states.  To carry out the scheme, participants acquire stolen credit card data on the internet and other locations, and encode the stolen data onto the magnetic strip of what appear to be legitimate gift or credit cards.  Managers in the scheme then distribute the cards to “runners” who travel to various gas stations, convenience stores, and grocery stores located around the state where they purchase dozens of cartons of cigarettes at a time using the counterfeit gift and credit cards.  The runners return the cigarettes to the managers in the scheme, who pay the runners a kickback and supply them with more counterfeit cards.  The managers periodically make trips to New York where they sell the cigarettes on the black market for cash.

On April 30, 2011, BARRIE was arrested on state charges after a search of his Raleigh apartment turned up 92 fraudulently re-encoded gift cards and 106 cartons of cigarettes.  Several months later, on January 3, 2012, BARRIE was arrested again during a traffic stop, at which time he was found in possession of 33 gift cards that had been re-encoded with stolen credit card data.  The investigation also uncovered that BARRIE caused another person to rent a storage unit in her name.  A search of that Raleigh storage unit uncovered a magnetic card encoding device, 32 cartons of cigarettes, and another 20 re-encoded credit cards.

During questioning by law enforcement, BARRIE admitted to receiving counterfeit cards and storing cigarettes for others involved in the scheme.  He further admitted to renting the storage unit containing the card encoding device in connection with the scheme.

BARRIE was indicted by a federal grand jury sitting in the Eastern District of North Carolina on January 3, 2013.  On August 15, 2013, BARRIE pled guilty to Counts 1 and 3 of the Indictment, which charged him with Aggravated Identity Theft,  and Possession of Fifteen or More Unauthorized Access Devices.

At the sentencing hearing, over BARRIE’s objections, Judge Flanagan adopted findings by the United States Probation Office that 92 individuals and 18 banks were victimized as a result of BARRIE’s conduct.

The investigation of the ongoing scheme described above continues.  Anyone with knowledge of the scheme should contact the United States Secret Service in Raleigh at (919) 855-1052.

Investigation of BARRIE’s case was conducted by the United States Secret Service, with the assistance of the Raleigh Police Department, the New Bern Police Department, and the Kinston Police Department.  Assistant United States Attorney William M. Gilmore represented the United States.

Updated July 14, 2015