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ORC 9-26-14




Brains behind $30 million counterfeit card scheme based in N.J. pleads guilty
The mastermind behind a $30 million scheme that offered criminals one-stop shopping for their counterfeiting needs pleaded guilty today to fraud charges. Sean Roberson, 39, admitted during an appearance in U.S. District Court that he personally made $1.7 million running the Hudson County-based website The site was regularly accessed by criminals looking to buy counterfeit credit and debit cards as well as holographs used to make fake driver's licenses, U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said. The FBI, which led the probe, has estimated the losses from counterfeit payment cards bought off at $30 million. (Source

15 arrested as part of organized cargo theft ring in El Paso - Recovers $1M in flat screen TVs  Fifteen people, including two alleged Barrio Azteca members, were arrested Thursday as a result of a cargo theft ring investigation by multiple law enforcement agencies. The arrests were made in various locations around El Paso, including a warehouse near the airport in the 20 block of Spur Drive. A tractor-trailer full of stolen flat screen TV's was seized at that location, said police spokesman Sgt. Chris Mears. The people arrested were allegedly involved in a ring that would steal large cargo pellets from various delivery trucks on both sides of the border and sell the merchandise. The stolen goods included flat screen TVs, blue jeans, refrigerators, washers and other electronics, said Carrey Matthew, DPS Regional Commander. "Additional charges and arrests are expected," Matthews said. (Source

Two former Wal-Mart employees face 99 charges in $17,000 thefts in Fort Wayne, IN  Nearly 100 thefts netting about $17,000 in merchandise resulted in felony charges Thursday against two former Wal-Mart employees. But investigators say more employees than just 40-year-old David J. Menefee and 18-year-old David A. McFarland were involved in the three-month string of thefts. Menefee is accused of being the leader of group, and police said in probable cause affidavits that he alone was responsible for 92 thefts of items with a total value of $15,289 from January to April. Investigators said they believe four other employees stole an additional $6,112 in merchandise in five other thefts. The store manager told police that the video showed Menefee take several electronic items out the rear door of the store and not pay for them. In his role as assistant night manager, Menefee had access to security rooms, showcases and locked exit doors, all of which aided in the thefts, the affidavit said. Video showed McFarland picking up merchandise after employees put it outside the store, according to the report. (Source

Repeat female offender makes Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers 10 Most Wanted Fugitives  She's been jailed more than a dozen times and been convicted of thefts in multiple counties. Now Varaka Stewart is one of Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers 10 Most Wanted fugitives. Stewart, 29, is a repeat offender in Lee, Collier and Manatee Counties, charged with a long list of thefts, robbery, battery, burglary, trespassing, and giving false information to law enforcement officers, among other crimes. In addition to Stewart's current warrant for grand theft and trespassing, at least two additional warrants for similar charges, will be forthcoming. Most recently she hit a Guess store at Miromar Outlets in Estero and the North Fort Myers Walmart store. (Source

2 male re-peat offenders stole Wal-Mart filing cabinet filled with $3K worth of over-the-counter medications  Martin Washington, 38, and Jamel Wilson, 36, both of New York City, allegedly took a filing cabinet out of its box and filled it with nonprescription pharmaceuticals, according to Lt. James Sullivan. Washington’s criminal history includes two municipal convictions in New Jersey and several convictions in Pennsylvania and New York, Burlington County. Wilson has four indictable convictions in New Jersey and three municipal convictions, as well as an unspecified New York conviction, Agre said. Court documents show that in New Jersey he was convicted of burglary in 2001, shoplifting in 2007 and shoplifting again in 2014, for which he is serving three years of probation. (Source

Credit card scammers hit 5 towns, make $10G in purchases - buying gift cards at local pharmacy - Likely part of a larger 'syndicate'  Police have discovered what they believe is a large-scale network of credit card scammers who've been operating in Emerson, Westwood, River Edge, Waldwick and Wyckoff, thanks to a Wyckoff pharmacy employee whose call led to the arrests of two Long Island women. The worker called Wyckoff police Wednesday afternoon and told them that one of the pair was trying to buy Visa gift cards with a bogus credit card at the pharmacy, Chief Benjamin Fox said. They were carrying 28 fraudulent credit cards and a fraudulent driver's license — all in the name of "Toni Smith" — and Visa gift cards totaling $10,000, Fox said. The women are "likely part of a larger credit card fraud syndicate in which they take blank credit cards and emboss numbers into the card," the chief said. (Source

Four men arrested in credit card scheme in Tupelo, MS  Four men have been arrested in connection to a credit card fraud scheme. Tupelo Police arrested Tevin Blevins, 20, of Chicago; Brandon Hughes, 19, of Gary, Indiana; Terrence Moss, 32, of Chicago; and Gabriel Smith-Williams, 23, of Chicago. All four men have been charged with credit card fraud. Several area businesses had reported that a group of males were using counterfeit credit cards to make purchases. Police officers took the descriptions and found the suspects in a local hotel's parking lot. The four men are suspected of committing the same kind of crimes earlier this month in Tupelo and in several other states throughout the South. (Source

Surveillance Video Of Ex-NBA Star Allegedly Shoplifting From Apple Store Released By Scottsdale, AZ Police  Police have released surveillance video of what they claim shows Rex Chapman allegedly shoplifting about $14,000 worth of products from an Apple Store. A standout guard for the Univ.of Kentucky, Chapman played 12 seasons in the NBA, the last four years with the Phoenix Suns. Chapman was arrested on September 19 for allegedly taking the Apple merchandise and making it look he was paying via self checkout. According to Police, Chapman proceeded to leave the store with the items and took them to a local pawn shop, where he sold them for cash. Chapman allegedly stole the items over the course of seven different trips to the store. Chapman reportedly earned about $22 million over the course of his NBA career. (Source

UK: Armed men steal $400,000 of watches from Argyll Arcade in Glasgow, Scotland  The four balaclava-clad robbers escaped with a haul of designer watches after raiding jewelers in the Glasgow's Argyll Arcade in broad daylight on Wednesday afternoon. But police believe the gang - who remain at large - will struggle to sell on the high-end timepieces because they are "too hot". It is understood some of the stolen watches are worth around $50,000 each and, unless they were stolen to order, the thieves will have trouble offloading the haul. Chief Inspector Mark Sutherland said a team of officers is working to trace the culprits. The gang smashed its way into four jewelers' shops - Rox, Mappin and Webb, Laing the Jeweller and Lewis Grant - at around 1pm. They escaped with designer watches only from Rox. Rox has said a number of high value watches, including Hublot and Bell & Ross items, had been stolen in the robbery. They have a combined value of $400,000. Bosses at Rox have hired a security guard to give staff extra piece of mind. (Source

ORC 9-26-14
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