Five Plead Guilty for Roles in Credit Card Fraud Scheme
The conspirators, Keyshawn Berchel Hunter, 27, of Florence, S.C., Daquan Damese James, 24, of Darlington, S.C., Roland Marcell Bruce, 23, of Darlington, S.C. and Markese Davon Robinson, 21, of Darlington, S.C., each pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit access device fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft. A fifth defendant, Markese Tyshawn James, 22, of Darlington, S.C., pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit access device fraud. The investigation remains ongoing and additional defendants may be charged.
According to evidence presented during this week’s hearings by Assistant United States Attorney Ashley B. Neese, authorities in Pearisburg, Virginia responded to the Pearisburg Wal-Mart for a report of several males attempting to use multiple debit cards that make purchases that were declined. A loss prevention employee noted that he observed the same males in the store a week earlier, attempting the same scheme and gave authorities a description of the subjects vehicle.
Authorities located a vehicle matching the description given by the Wal-Mart employee parked nearby and approached it, noticing the strong smell of marijuana as they did. Based on the smell of marijuana, police searched the vehicle and recovered a bag of green leafy material near the driver’s seat, 16 Visa debit cards. Additional search of the occupants of the vehicle recovered 40 Visa gift cards in the van’s center console and 52 Visa gift cards, one credit card skimmer and one HP laptop computer elsewhere in the van. Forensic examination by the United States Secret Service performed later revealed that 89 of those cards were re-encoded with stolen credit card numbers.
Additionally, one of the conspirators admitted the group targeted Wal-Mart stores in the southeast because the store wanted to keep the lines moving, which worked to their advantage.
The investigation of the case was conducted by the United States Secret Service, the Pearisburg Police Department, and the Giles County Sheriff’s Office. The Office of the Commonwealth Attorney for Giles County also assisted with the overall prosecution. Assistant United States Attorney Ashley B. Neese prosecuted the case for the United States.