Maryland man sentenced for credit card fraud scheme

Mohammed Keita, age 42, of Silver Spring, Maryland, was sentenced yesterday to 76 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, in a credit card fraud scheme resulting in over $135,000 in losses. Keita was also ordered to forfeit and pay restitution of $136,838.30.

Keita was convicted by a federal jury on August 10, 2012 of three counts each of the unauthorized use of credit/debit cards and aggravated identity theft, on one count each of possessing counterfeit credit/debit cards and possession of device-making equipment.

According to court documents and evidence presented at Keita’s three-day trial, law enforcement executed a search warrant at a residence being used by Keita on January 31, 2012. Agents recovered two laptop computers which contained hundreds of stolen credit card numbers; more than 15 fraudulent debit/credit cards bearing Keita’s name that had been re-encoded with the stolen credit card information of other individuals; receipts confirming Keita’s unauthorized use of other individuals’ credit/debit card information; and a device used to re-encode counterfeit credit cards.

According to trial testimony, the investigation began after law enforcement received numerous complaints from credit card account holders that unauthorized charges were occurring at grocery and department stores with their credit card numbers. Analysis of the surveillance tapes at several of the businesses where the unauthorized charges occurred revealed that Keita was conducting many of the fraudulent transactions, purchasing gift card, cigarettes and other merchandise. Investigators were able to identify at least 130 instances of debit/credit card fraud committed by Keita between July 2009 and January 2012. Evidence was presented that some of the credit card numbers that Keita possessed came from Lancelot Quartey, a server at a local restaurant, who had “skimmed” the credit card numbers from customers.

Quartey, age 31, of Silver Spring, Maryland, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit credit/debit card fraud and was sentenced to three months in prison, followed by two years of supervised release. Quartey was also ordered to pay restitution of $15,475.59.

The Department of Justice did not release the name of the restaurant at which Quartey had worked. And in researching this on Pacer, I see that the information on Quartey does not name the restaurant where he worked. It refers to it as “Company A,” located in Rockville, Maryland.

Again, why are names being shielded from the public? Who are the real victims here? It’s not the businesses who hired less than trustworthy personnel, but the consumers. C’mon, DOJ, name names!

Source: United States Attorney for the District of Maryland

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