Former Washington DC Resident Sentenced to Over Four Years in Prison for Credit Card Skimming Scheme
Was on the Lam for Two Years After Violating the Conditions of his Pre-Trial Release
Greenbelt, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Roger W. Titus sentenced Perry Haywood, Jr., age 29, formerly of Washington, D.C., today to 54 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for credit card fraud and aggravated identity theft. Judge Titus also ordered Haywood to pay restitution of $1,700 and to forfeit the computers and skimming devices used in the scheme.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge James Murray of the United States Secret Service - Washington Field Office; Special Agent in Charge Andre R. Watson of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); and Chief J. Thomas Manger of the Montgomery County Police Department
According to his plea agreement, on March 18, 2012, Haywood approached a government informant working at a Prince George’s County, Maryland, hotel and asked the informant if she was willing to skim credit cards used for payment at the hotel in exchange for $1,000 per week. After notifying federal law enforcement of Haywood’s solicitation, the informant arranged to meet with Haywood. During that meeting, Haywood explained the skimming operation to the informant and showed her how to use the skimming device. Haywood told the informant that he wanted her to skim 20-25 cards per week, and he would take steps to make it difficult for law enforcement to determine where the cards had been compromised. Haywood advised that he was giving the skimming device he had with him to another co-conspirator and arranged to meet the informant later to provide her with a skimming device.
On March 23, 2012, Haywood met the informant at a coffee shop and gave her a skimming device. He also provided the informant with a pre-paid cell phone to use to contact him. Haywood paid for that phone with a credit card encoded with the name and credit account of Victim #1. The informant, with government permission, used the skimming device to record the credit card information of five hotel customers, then arranged to return the skimming device to Haywood.
On April 2, 2012, Haywood was arrested while attempting to retrieve the skimmer from the informant. At the time of his arrest, Haywood was carrying another skimming device that contained the credit information of 19 additional victims. In addition, Haywood was carrying 11 credit cards encoded with information belonging to 11 separate victims, but which did not match the information that was embossed on the plastic cards themselves. Finally, in Haywood’s rental car, agents located six additional plastic cards, five of which were encoded with information belonging to victims that did not match the information embossed on the cards themselves.
After Haywood’s arrest, agents searched his residence in Washington, D.C., and seized two computers, two additional skimming devices, a device capable of encoding magnetic strips on credit cards, and 31 plastic cards with magnetic strips. Of the 31 cards, eight had been encoded with information, including the information of three additional victims. Subsequent forensic examination determined that one of the computers was loaded with software and drivers to operate a magnetic strip reader/writer and information consistent with credit card track data. Additionally, the computer had been used to access websites selling magnetic strip readers, blank magnetic card stocks, encoders, and embossers. The total actual and attempted loss as a result of Haywood’s fraudulent scheme was between $10,000 and $30,000.
On June 28, 2012, Haywood was released under conditions of pre-trial release, and was allowed to reside with his mother in Atlanta, Georgia. In late September 2012, Haywood failed to report to his supervising pre-trial services officer, and the Court ordered a bond review hearing on October 3, 2012. When Haywood failed to appear for that hearing, the Court issued a warrant for his arrest. On June 17, 2014, Haywood was arrested after he was located by federal authorities in Jacksonville, Florida.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the U.S. Secret Service – Washington Field Office, HSI Baltimore and Ocean City, and Montgomery County Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Ray D. McKenzie, who prosecuted the case.