Final Defendant in $3.1 Million Credit Card Fraud Scheme Sentenced
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The last of nine people who conspired to use stolen credit card numbers to commit $3,179,329.06 in fraud was sentenced in U.S. District Court today.
Benjamin C. Glassman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Mark Porter, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Secret Service, and Kathy Enstrom, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS), announced that Joey Westbrook, 21, of Columbus was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Michael H. Watson today to serve 36 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release.
According to court documents, Reynoldsburg resident Francois Toure, 26, obtained more than 4,700 stolen credit card numbers over the Internet between April 2012 and March 2015. He then re-encoded the magnetic strips of genuine prepaid or gift cards to reflect the stolen credit card numbers. Shoppers used the re-encoded cards to buy genuine gift cards, cigarettes, and other merchandise. Mohamed Mobarak, 27, and Ahmad Mobarak, 22, who operated Beechcroft Newsstand, used the Newsstand’s point-of-sale terminal to fraudulently redeem genuine gift cards purchased by the shoppers. Finally, Mohamed Mobarak filled privately owned ATMs with funds that were in part the proceeds of credit card fraud.
Investigators determined that the intended loss of the fraud scheme was $3,179,329.06. Judge Watson ordered restitution of $928,008.92 to be paid to victims. Investigators seized 46 ATMs, two vehicles, firearms and ammunition, electronic equipment and $599,962.82 in currency during the investigation.
All nine defendants pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and received sentences ranging from 33 to 60 months. The others who pleaded guilty are Robert A. Kamara, 27, of Canal Winchester, Enouch J. Kermue, 27, of Columbus, Asher Merritt, 28, of Columbus, Diddier Mami, 28, of Inkster, Michigan, and Destani T. Cable, 28, of Columbus.
U.S. Attorney Glassman commended the Secret Service, the IRS, and agencies participating in the 65-member Southern District of Ohio Task Force on electronic crimes created in 2012 for their cooperative investigation, as well as Assistant U.S. Attorneys David J. Bosley and Peter K. Glenn-Applegate, who prosecuted the case.