Seven Indicted in "Card Cracking" Scheme
Counterfeiters allegedly targeted college students and their bank accounts
PROVIDENCE – An indictment unsealed in U.S. District Court in Providence on Friday charges seven individuals with allegedly participating in a “card cracking” scheme, with the intent of defrauding banks of approximately a million dollars.
In a “card cracking” scheme, a group of people create counterfeit checks and recruit complicit bank account holders who allow use of their bank accounts to deposit the bogus checks and the use of their ATM cards to withdraw funds prior to the bank determining that the checks are counterfeit.
The indictment charges Stefan C. Gaye aka “Swizzy,” 27, Edmilson A. Rodrigues aka “2Fly,” 20, Nestor Concepcion aka “Nestor J,”23, Luis Rodriguez aka “Clout Lord,” 19, Terrell Witherspoon, 23, and Leslie Susana, 20, all of Providence, with conspiracy to commit bank fraud and bank fraud. Shaun Dennis, 25, of Providence, is charged with conspiracy to commit bank fraud.
The return of the indictment is announced by United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman, Providence Police Chief Colonel Hugh T. Clements, Jr., Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Secret Service Stephen Marks, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service Joseph W. Cronin, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division Joseph R. Bonavolonta.
According to the indictment and information presented to the Court, it is alleged that members of the conspiracy solicited individuals with access to legitimate business and public agency checks to photograph the checks and send them to a counterfeiter. The information was used to create counterfeit checks. It is alleged that members of the conspiracy then solicited others via social media, often times college students, to allow the bogus checks be deposited into their bank accounts. Using ATM cards belonging to the account holders, either members of the conspiracy or, at times the actual account holders, under the supervision of members of the conspiracy, would attempt to withdraw cash from the accounts prior to the bank determining that the deposited checks were counterfeit.
It is alleged that over the past six years, members of the conspiracy created and deposited in banks in Rhode Island and Massachusetts approximately a million dollars worth of bogus checks.
Stefan Gaye and Terrell Witherspoon have been arrested and arraigned in U.S. District Court. Nestor Concepcion, Luis Rodriguez, and Shaun Dennis are currently detained at the ACI on unrelated charges and will be appear in U.S. District Court for arraignment on May 6, 2019. Arrest warrants have been issued for Edmilson Rodrigues and Leslie Susana.
An indictment is merely an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The investigation was initiated by the Providence Police Department’s Detective Bureau, Financial Crimes Unit. They sought the assistance of federal law enforcement and the case was then investigated jointly by U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the FBI.
United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman thanks the Rhode Island Department of the Attorney General, Rhode Island State Police, and the Warwick and North Providence Police Departments for their assistance in the investigation of this matter.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney William J. Ferland.