Four Members Of “Manche Boy Mafia” Gang Sentenced In Credit Card Fraud Scheme
Tampa, FL – U.S. District Judge Steven D. Merryday has sentenced four Tampa men to federal prison for engaging in a conspiracy to commit credit card fraud, credit card fraud, and identity theft. Brandon Lewis (22) and Terrance Cobb (22) were each sentenced to 5 years and 1 month in federal prison; Dontae Williams (24, Tampa) was sentenced to a term of 5 years and 10 months; and Davon Smith (21, Tampa) was sentenced to 5 years and 5 months’ imprisonment. The Court also ordered them to pay restitution of $113,490.54, which is traceable to proceeds of the offenses, and for Lewis and Williams to forfeit funds equal to the value of automobiles they purchased with the proceeds from the offenses.
On April 28, 2017, Lewis and Williams pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit access device (credit card) fraud and aggravated identity theft, while Cobb and Smith pleaded guilty to access device (credit card) fraud and aggravated identity theft.
According to court documents and statements made in court, from at least January 2015 through November 2016, Lewis, Cobb, Smith, and Williams, along with others affiliated 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, including some that used bitcoins as their currency. The conspirators then purchased or stole reloadable gift cards and scratched off or otherwise damaged the magnetic strips on the back of the cards so that they could not be read by merchants’ point of sale (POS) terminals. The conspirators used an embosser to emboss the stolen account numbers and their own names onto the front of these altered gift cards. In some cases, the conspirators used a label maker to affix the Card Verification Value (CVV) security code associated with the stolen account to the back of the counterfeit cards. The conspirators then used these counterfeit credit cards at various retailers around the Tampa Bay area. When the retailers’ POS terminals could not read the damaged magnetic strips, the conspirators advised the clerks to manually enter the stolen account information embossed on the front of the counterfeit cards to make the purchase. The conspirators typically purchased gift cards and electronics, which they kept or sold for cash.
Investigators determined that these individuals had engaged in hundreds of successful transactions with counterfeit credit cards and had used and possessed thousands of stolen account numbers from individuals across the United States. In total, these individuals were held responsible for more than $600,000 in intended or attempted purchases.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Tampa Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mandy Riedel.