Melbourne Man Sentenced To More Than Three Years In Federal Prison For Stealing Social Security Benefits
Tampa, FL – U.S. District Judge Susan C. Bucklew today sentenced Maurice Lewis (22, Tampa) to 5 years and 1 month in federal prison for conspiracy to commit credit card fraud and aggravated identity theft. He pleaded guilty to the charges on July 10, 2017.
According to court documents and statements made in open court, from at least January 2015, through November 2016, Lewis and other individuals affiliated in some way with the “Manche Boy Mafia” or “MBM” organization conspired to commit credit card fraud and identity theft in the Tampa Bay area. Investigators learned that these individuals had purchased stolen credit and debit card account numbers online from various websites, some of which used bitcoins as their currency. The conspirators purchased or stole reloadable gift cards and used a machine to emboss the stolen account numbers and their own names onto the front of these altered gift cards, thereby generating counterfeit credit cards. The conspirators then used these counterfeit cards at various retailers around the Tampa Bay area to purchase gift cards and electronics, which they either kept or sold for cash.
Investigators determined that these individuals had engaged in hundreds of successful transactions with counterfeit credit cards, and had possessed and used thousands of stolen account numbers from individuals across the United States. In total, Lewis was held responsible for more than $350,000 in intended or attempted purchases with counterfeit credit cards and stolen account information.
Lewis’ co-defendant, Demeko Wells, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and aggravated identity theft. He is scheduled to be sentenced on October 31, 2017.
In a related case, fellow MBM members (Brandon Lewis and Terrance Cobb) were each sentenced to 5 years and 1 month in federal prison; Dontae Williams was sentenced to 5 years and 10 months’ imprisonment; and Davon Smith was sentenced to 5 years and 5 months in federal prison - all for engaging in a conspiracy to commit credit card fraud, credit card fraud, and identity theft.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Tampa Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mandy Riedel.