Two Chicago women plead guilty to credit card fraud
Investigation implicated four Chicago women in credit card scheme
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Two Chicago women pleaded guilty today to credit card fraud, announced Acting United States Attorney Carol Casto. Christine Johnson, 26, and Stephanie Stevenson, 27, both entered guilty pleas to possession of 15 or more counterfeit access devices. A counterfeit access device is a credit card that has been altered so that it contains stolen information that has been re-encoded on the magnetic strip on the back of the card.
Johnson and Stevenson both admitted that they, along with two other codefendants, Wynesha Wilson-Robinson and Crystal Merritt, possessed over 100 counterfeit access devices. Johnson and Stevenson drove from Chicago to West Virginia in an attempt to use these counterfeit credit cards. On June 5, 2015, the women were observed at the South Charleston Target and Walmart attempting to use the counterfeit cards, and store employees alerted law enforcement to the suspicious behavior.
Johnson and Stevenson each face up to 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine when they are sentenced on October 3, 2016.
The South Charleston Police Department and the United States Secret Service conducted the investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Erik S. Goes is in charge of the prosecutions. The plea hearings were held before United States District Judge John T. Copenhaver, Jr.
Wynesha Wilson-Robinson, 27, of Chicago, previously pleaded guilty in April 2016 to credit card fraud and is scheduled to be sentenced on August 11, 2016. The fourth codefendant, Crystal Merritt, 29, also of Chicago, is scheduled for a plea hearing on August 4, 2016. All of the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until they are proven guilty in a court of law.
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