29 alleged gang members plead guilty in $1-million fraud scheme

More than two dozen people linked to criminal street gangs face a total of 86 years in prison after pleading guilty to a $1 million fraud scheme, California Atty. This was announced by General Rob Bonta on Friday.

Toni Coffman, the program’s director, received 13 years and 8 months in prison and was ordered to pay $861,000 in damages. Coffman and 28 others conspired to scam victims across the state by hacking into the credit card terminals and merchant accounts of dozens of medical and dental companies, officials said.

“Criminal activity targeting merchants and consumers not only takes a financial toll on communities, but also threatens public safety,” Bonta said in a statement. “This conviction should send a strong message: Criminal activity will not be tolerated in our state and we will hold those involved in illegal activities accountable.”

The prosecution comes after a multi-year investigation into a series of break-ins related to a credit card fraud scheme in 13 Northern California cities, including Walnut Creek, Antioch, San Rafael and Napa, U.S. Justice Department officials said. The investigation began in February 2016 after law enforcement officers found similarities in burglaries of credit card terminals in the area.

Members of the Bully Boys and CoCo Boys gangs worked together to break into stores and steal credit card terminals, law enforcement officials claimed. The suspects used the terminals to process returns. But instead of the value of the returns going to the company or customer, it was posted to a debit card, which the suspects then pocketed, officials said. The defendants stole about $1 million, DOJ officials said.

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-07-09/29-criminal-street-gang-members-plead-guil-in-1-million-fraud-scheme 29 alleged gang members plead guilty in $1-million fraud scheme

Alley Einstein

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