Gangs stole $1M by credit card fraud

Ripon Bulletin - - Local/state -

SACRA­MENTO (AP) — More than 30 pur­ported street gang mem­bers have been charged with steal­ing more than $1 mil­lion in what au­thor­i­ties said Mon­day was an un­usu­ally so­phis­ti­cated credit card fraud scheme.

Mem­bers and as­so­ci­ates of the Bul­lyBoys and the CoCo Boys street gangs based in the sub­urbs east of San Fran­cisco de­frauded hun­dreds of vic­tims by break­ing into dozens of med­i­cal and den­tal of­fices to steal credit card ter­mi­nals and pa­tient records, said state At­tor­ney Gen­eral Xavier Be­cerra and po­lice chiefs from three cities.

The 32 al­leged gang mem­bers used the stolen ter­mi­nals to process credit card re­turns, down­load­ing them to debit cards, ac­cord­ing to the 240-count in­dict­ment.

“It is eas­ier today and it is more re­ward­ing today to en­gage in iden­tity theft and fi­nan­cial fraud than it is to go out there on the street and com­mit phys­i­cal, vi­o­lent crime,” Be­cerra said. “It pays more at lower risk,” though he al­leged the gangs used the money to fund other il­le­gal ac­tiv­i­ties that are not in­cluded in the in­dict­ment.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tion be­gan in early 2016 when in­ves­ti­ga­tors no­ticed sim­i­lar­i­ties be­tween bur­glar­ies scat­tered across North­ern Cal­i­for­nia.

The in­dict­ment handed down last month by a spe­cial Sacra­mento Coun­ty­based statewide grand jury in­cludes counts of con­spir­acy to com­mit grand theft; hack­ing, com­puter ac­cess and fraud; grand theft; bur­glary; and iden­tity theft.

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