Tampa Man Sentenced For Gift Card Fraud Scheme
Tampa, FL – U.S. District Judge Steven D. Merryday today sentenced Ravon Jackiel Forbes-Hodge (25, Tampa) to three years and six months in federal prison for credit card fraud and aggravated identity theft. The court also ordered him to pay $31,422 in restitution to victims of the fraud. Forbes-Hodge pleaded guilty on January 11, 2018.
According to court documents, Forbes-Hodge and others obtained stolen credit card account numbers and bank account information from various financial institutions. The conspirators purchased or stole reloadable gift cards and embossed them with their own names and the stolen account numbers. They then used the counterfeit cards at retailers throughout the Tampa Bay area to purchase merchandise that they later returned to different locations to receive store credit in the form of gift cards. The conspirators then sold the fraudulently obtained gift cards for cash.
Between February and June 2017, Forbes-Hodge used counterfeit credit cards and stolen account information to purchase thousands of dollars in merchandise from Home Depot stores. He then returned the merchandise to different Home Depot locations and obtained store credit in the form of Home Depot gift cards. Forbes-Hodge sold thousands of dollars in fraudulently obtained Home Depot gift cards in exchange for cash. He was responsible for at least 55 fraudulent purchases, using approximately 30 different counterfeit credit cards and stolen account information during this period.
This case was investigated by the United States Secret Service, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, and the Tampa Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Josephine W. Thomas.