By GARY POPP
Five New Yorkers arrested in April by Clarksville police on suspicions of credit card fraud, were sentenced Monday by a federal court.
The group is believed to be responsible for what the U.S. Secret Service has called the largest credit card fraud operation they’ve seen in the Louisville area, CPD Chief Mark Palmer said a day after the quintet was arrested.
United States Attorney Joseph H. Hogsett announced Monday that the five individuals were sentenced after being convicted of possessing hundreds of counterfeit credit cards as part of a credit card fraud scheme allegedly based in New York.
The sentencing followed a collaborative investigation by the United States Secret Service and the Clarksville Police Department, according to a press release issued by Hogsett’s office.
Those sentenced are Amanda Adam, 21; Trevor Hinds, 45; Blandine Joseph, 37; Tycia Peterson, 27; and Paul Roberson, 33.
The sentences range from two to nearly three- and one-half years in prison.
“The threat of identity theft is real, and it is growing,” Hogsett said in the press release. “That is why we have teamed up with the Secret Service and our local law enforcement partners to send the message that if you engage in this activity, you will be caught and face serious time behind bars.”
Each defendant entered guilty pleas immediately before their sentencing hearings, and in doing so, admitted to entering the Clarksville Sam’s Club April 3, when Roberson, Peterson and Adam attempted to use fraudulent credit cards to make purchases.
“Those transactions were declined, and raised the suspicions of the store’s security team, who alerted local law enforcement,” according to the press release.
After leaving Sam’s Club, the three met Hinds and Joseph in the parking lot. All five defendants left the area for a nearby Red Lobster restaurant. Clarksville police officers were advised of their location and made the arrests.
More than 300 counterfeit credit cards made out in the names of all five defendants were located in their vehicle, which had been rented in New York days earlier.
According to the press release, Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd S. Shellenbarger, who prosecuted the case, said each of the defendants was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $29,818 and imposed a supervised release of three years following their terms of imprisonment.