A gang of grifters used thousands of stolen identities and counterfeit credit cards to go on a $1 million shopping spree at Apple stores across the country, prosecutors said.
The traveling band of about two dozen alleged thieves was indicted on conspiracy, grand larceny, identity theft and forgery charges in the whopping take-down after a two-year investigation by Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance’s Cyber Crimes Unit and the Secret Service…
Reputed ring leader Shaheed “Sha” Bilal, 28, who orchestrated the May 2009 to December 2010 conspiracy from jail, was held on $1 million bail, according to court papers.
Prosecutors said the gang bought stolen identities and used Yahoo! email accounts to store, send and receive thousands of stolen credit card numbers. They used a credit card encoding machine to make the fake cards.
Armed with the plastic, they shopped, hitting mostly Apple stores where they snapped up iPods and MacBook laptops, but also gift cards and clothing. They swiped the cards in California, Nevada and Florida, as well as Manhattan and Edison, N.J.
Gil Einhorn, a 26-year-old married Brooklyn dad, was labeled by prosecutors as a “primary fence” who bought the hot electronics.
Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Roper told a judge Einhorn was caught on surveillance tape handing over cash for “large bundles of items believed to be stolen electronic goods.”
Always pleased to see the fence caught along with the street thugs. A great deal of property crime could be brought to a screeching halt with the removal and warehousing of the financial kingpins of the process in some handy dandy slammer.
That the head of the gang was granted the necessary “freedom” to run his racket from prison is another topic guaranteed to piss me off. Perish the thought some sluggo doing time didn’t have free time and access to communications – that allowed him to continue stealing from his cell.