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Press Release

Possession of 309 Counterfeit Gift Cards

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of South Carolina

Contact Person: A Bradley Parham (843) 665-6688

Florence, South Carolina ---- United States Attorney Bill Nettles stated today that Raquan Etheridge, age 28, of Long Island City, New York was sentenced on January 27, 2016 by United States District Judge R. Bryan Harwell in federal court in Florence, to 42 months imprisonment and ordered to pay $7,986.31 in restitution for knowingly possessing 309 counterfeit gift cards with intent to defraud, a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1029(a)(3). 

Evidence presented at the guilty plea hearing established that on January 23, 2015, deputies with the Dillon County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report that an individual driving a Gold minivan with Florida license plates was attempting to use a stolen credit card in a business in Latta.  Shortly thereafter, deputies located a van matching that description and identified Etheridge as the driver.  During a search of the van deputies recovered 309 counterfeit gift cards which had been encoded with unauthorized account numbers belonging to numerous other individuals.  Also found in the van were receipts reflecting purchases of cigarettes from businesses in different states, including Virginia and South Carolina, which purchases were made with some of the counterfeit cards encoded with unauthorized account numbers.  In addition, over 170 cartons and 193 loose packs of cigarettes were recovered from the van.          

The case was investigated by agents of the United States Secret Service with the assistance of the Dillon County Sheriff’s Office.  Assistant United States Attorney A. Bradley Parham of the Florence office is prosecuting the case.


Updated January 29, 2016