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Press Release

UK Resident Pleads Guilty To Possession Of Stolen Credit Card Credentials

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of California
More than $124,000 was charged to the stolen credit cards

SAN FRANCISCO – Malik Mohsan Abdullah pleaded guilty to the possession of counterfeit access devices in connection with his receipt and transfer of stolen credit card information, announced United States Attorney David L. Anderson and United States Secret Service Special Agent in Charge Thomas C. Edwards. 

According to the plea agreement, Abdullah, 36, a resident of the United Kingdom, received 5,674 stolen credit card credentials via email during the period from January through March 2017.  These credentials included cards issued by U.S. banks and belonging to individuals in the Northern District of California.  The stolen credentials included full credit card numbers, expiration dates, verification numbers, addresses, and the countries connected to the accounts.  According to the plea agreement, Abdullah knew that a significant number of the stolen credentials were used to defraud the rightful cardholders.  In the plea agreement, Abdullah acknowledged that as of May 13, 2019, approximately $124,579.53 in unauthorized charges had been attributed to the stolen cards after Abdullah received them.   

According to an affidavit filed by a special agent of the U.S. Secret Service, investigators working with a cooperator identified a vendor offering stolen credit cards for sale on a dark web Internet forum.  Investigators were able to trace digital currency transactions with the vendor to an email address, whose owner supervised and controlled the flow of stolen credit cards to multiple suspects across the United States, Europe, and the Middle East.  That account owner transferred thousands of stolen payment card numbers to Abdullah.  Abdullah was arrested by authorities in the United Kingdom and extradited to the United States.     

Abdullah was charged by information on December 16, 2019, with one count of possession of fifteen or more counterfeit access devices, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1029(a)(3).  Abdullah pleaded guilty to that count.   

The sentencing hearing for Abdullah is scheduled for February 26, 2020, before the Honorable Edward M. Chen, United States District Judge.  Pursuant to the terms of his plea agreement, Abdullah has agreed that a reasonable and appropriate disposition of his case would include a term of imprisonment of two (2) years, three (3) years of supervised release, payment of a $100 special assessment, and a fine to be imposed by the court.  However, any sentence will be imposed by the court only after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.  

This prosecution is the result of an investigation by the U.S. Secret Service and is being prosecuted by the Special Prosecutions Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office.       

Updated January 9, 2020