EAST ST. LOUIS — Two Georgia men have pleaded guilty in a credit card fraud scheme that targeted area Walmart stores.
In a press release, U.S. Attorney Donald S. Boyce said Samirahdam E. Rolley, 25, of Stone Mountain, Ga., pleaded guilty to two credit card fraud charges and a charge of aggravated identity theft Thursday in federal court in East St. Louis. Michael A. Gordon, also of Stone Mountain, pleaded guilty Feb. 27 to the same charges arising out of the same incidents. The duo’s crimes occurred at several Walmart stores in the Metro East over a three-day period in June 2015.
At their plea hearings, the pair admitted that they traveled from Georgia to Southern Illinois in early June 2015. During their trip, Rolley and Gordon possessed numerous gift cards. The cards’ magnetic strips had been re-encoded with stolen debit card numbers. Some of these debit account numbers were for the accounts of Southern Illinois residents at a local credit union. Rolley and Gordon used the altered gift cards to make purchases at Walmarts, including stores in Cahokia, O’Fallon, Belleville, Highland, Wood River, Collinsville, Glen Carbon, Godfrey, Jerseyville, Waterloo and Carlyle. The purchases made by Rolley and Gordon were debited to the bank accounts of the victims whose debit account numbers had been embedded on the gift cards.
The sentencing hearings for both men are scheduled for June 23. The charges of using stolen account numbers and using counterfeit credit cards are both punishable by up to 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, three years of supervised release and restitution. The aggravated identity theft charge carries a mandatory sentence of 2 years in prison, which must be served consecutively with any prison sentence imposed for the stolen account number charge.
The investigation is being conducted by the Springfield Division, Fairview Heights Resident Agency, of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Several Metro East police departments have assisted the FBI with the investigation. Those include the Carlyle, Collinsville, Glen Carbon, Jerseyville, Waterloo and Wood River police departments, as well as the Madison County Sheriff’s Department. Walmart’s Global Security Department has also provided significant assistance in the investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott A. Verseman.