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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, March 16, 2018

Defendant Sentenced In Card Cracking Scheme

Lured Victims Through Dating Websites

GREENSBORO, N.C. - United States Attorney Matthew G.T. Martin of the Middle District of North Carolina announced that Craig McINNIS, II, was sentenced March 13, 2018, by the Honorable Judge Thomas D. Schroeder in Federal Court in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, to 45 months confinement.

McINNIS, 28, of Durham, North Carolina, pleaded guilty on December 7, 2017, to false statements to a bank and aggravated identity theft. McINNIS was involved in a "card cracking scheme" in which he identified victims through social media sites, including dating websites such as "Plenty O' Fish" and "Tinder." He falsely represented to the women he met online that he could help them make easy money through an investment, convincing them to provide their debit cards, PINs, and other account information. McINNIS used the bank and debit card information obtained from victims to order checks from the victims' banks, which he then altered and counterfeited by replacing the victim’s name with the name of a corporation. He would then make the counterfeit checks payable to another of the victims whose information he had also obtained by false pretenses. After depositing the counterfeit checks, McINNIS would immediately withdraw the fraudulently deposited funds, often using the fraudulently obtained debit card of one of his victims.

In addition to 45 months imprisonment, McINNIS was ordered to serve five years of supervised release after completing his sentence and to pay restitution to State Employees' Credit Union and the victims of the offenses.

The United States Treasury Office of Inspector General Task Force and the City of Durham Police Department investigated this case. The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Kennedy Gates and Assistant United States Attorney Frank J. Chut, Jr.

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Updated March 16, 2018