Four charged in "massive" credit card cloning scheme
Four men have been charged in ""a massive credit card cloning scam."
The four suspects are accused of stealing Meijer credit card numbers and encoding them onto gift cards--also known as card cloning. The suspects used the cloned cards to purchase more gift cards or merchandise, according to the investigation. Suspects use a computer or device to code the magnetic strips of the cards.
Neno A. Fleming, 20: Misappropriate ID - Obtain Money (five counts); Credit Card - Forgery; Resisting or Obstructing an Officer
Nolan A. Fleming, 18: Misappropriate ID - Obtain Money (five counts); Credit Card - Forgery; Resisting or Obstructing an Officer
Mark A. Osborne, 18: Misappropriate ID - Obtain Money (five counts); Credit Card - Forgery
Malik C. Robinson, 21: Misappropriate ID - Obtain Money (five counts); Credit Card - Forgery
A criminal complaint obtained by Action 2 News details the arrests and investigation.
On Aug. 20, a Brown County deputy was called to the Meijer store in Howard for a report of retail theft. A loss prevention employee said three men suspected of fraud were at the self-checkouts. Howard loss prevention was keeping a close eye on the store because the Sheboygan store had been hit earlier.
The deputy spotted the suspects and followed them to their vehicle. Three of the suspects--the Fleming brothers and Robinson-- were inside the vehicle. Osborne was located at the nearby Fleet Farm store. The complaint says he was spotted throwing credit cards and gift cards under a shrub near the parking lot.
Meijer loss prevention had surveillance video of suspects using gift cards that had been encoded with stolen credit card numbers.
In addition to the cards discarded under the shrub, investigators found bags containing gift cards in the suspect vehicle. They also found the receipts.
Officers say the suspects had stolen credit cards from 11 Meijer customers. The store says it was not a result of a data breach at Meijer, but "a massive credit card cloning scam."
The store says the credit card issuer Comenity Bank issues the cards to customers with no CVV (the three-digit security code on the back of the card) or date. They can only be used at Meijer stores. All a person needs to sign up is a six-digit bank identification number and to add 10 numbers to start "trial and error testing" to see which card number is accepted.
Local investigators got in touch with the United States Secret Service. The agency had been tracking people from the Detroit area who had been committing these crimes at stores in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin.
The suspects travel in groups over large distances and use the cloned Meijer cards to purchase gift cards and merchandise.
The suspects were taken to interview rooms at the Brown County Sheriff's Office. One of the investigators "could hear them speaking loudly with one another" regarding the investigation.
The investigator noted this conversation between the Fleming brothers:
Nolan Fleming: "…we can’t keep putting momma through this s--t."
Neno: "I’m never f---g around ever again bro. That’s it bro. This it for me bro. This it bro… I’m not getting in trouble no more bro. This s--t was a real reality check. I’ll be honest bro. This s--t was a real reality check."
All four suspects are being held on $10,000 cash bonds.