January 27, 2017
Fraudulent Credit Card Operation Shut Down by STPSO
A Slidell couple’s fraudulent credit card / identity theft operation has been shut down by the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office and resulted in 115 counterfeit credit cards, equipment used to make credit cards, and more than $25,000 worth of high-end shoes being seized.
Roland Celestine (24) and Gariuan Hampton (22), both of Slidell, were arrested last week for Bank Fraud, Identity Theft, Monetary Instrument Abuse and for violating the Anti-skimming Act.
Celestine and Hampton would first steal credit card numbers by utilizing skimming devices, and/or by purchasing stolen identities from the “dark web”. The couple would then take pre-paid gift cards, reprogram the magnetic strip with the fraudulent credit card information, and emboss their actual names on the credit cards. The duo would then use the cards to make fraudulent purchases at local retail stores.
A majority of the purchases made were high-end shoes that are often used as currency amongst the young adults because they are easily liquidated for cash, traded, and/or used as collateral.
The investigation continues.