Financial fraud scheme stole credit card info from restaurants a - WNCN: News, Weather

Financial fraud scheme stole credit card info from restaurants along I-65, used to fund rap group, personal expenses

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Tens of thousands of dollars were stolen from credit cards up and down I-65 to fund daily expenses and a rap group, according to Gardendale Police. Tens of thousands of dollars were stolen from credit cards up and down I-65 to fund daily expenses and a rap group, according to Gardendale Police.
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GARDENDALE, AL - Local and federal law enforcement officials are searching for six people believed to be involved in a financial fraud scheme in Jefferson County.

Gardendale police say five of the alleged criminals are believed to be from Irondale. The other person is from the Huntsville area. The following suspects have been formally charged and bond amounts ordered, but police have not yet apprehended them.
  • Eric Jose Azcona, 27, of Huntsville, is charged with 28 Fraudulent Uses of a Credit Card, 26 Identity Thefts, Trafficking in Stolen Identities, and Theft of Property First Degree for a total of 56 felony warrants and a bond of $1,260,000.
  • Steven Joseph Azcona, 24, of Irondale, is charged with 9 Fraudulent uses of a Credit Card, 5 Identity Thefts, Trafficking in Stolen Identities, and Attempted Theft of Property First Degree Total for a total of 15 felony warrants and a bond of $ 315,000.
  • Christian Talmadge Packer (AKA Champ Tha Don Dada), 24, of Irondale, is charged with 21 Fraudulent uses of a Credit Card, 18 Identity Thefts, Trafficking in Stolen Identities, and Theft of Property First Degree for a total of 40 felony warrants and a bond of $ 885,000.
  • Joshua Caleb Lewis, 25, of Birmingham, is charged with 15 Fraudulent uses of a Credit Card, 13 Identity Thefts, Trafficking in Stolen Identities, and Attempted Theft of Property First Degree for a total of 29 felony warrants and a bond of $645,000.
  • Devin Daiget Coleman, 26, of Birmingham, is charged with: 11 Fraudulent uses of a Credit Card, 7 Identity Thefts, Trafficking in Stolen Identities, and Attempted Theft of Property First Degree for a total of 19 felony warrants and a bond of $405,000.
  • Kenosha Renay Shaw, 24, of Irondale, is charged with: 2 Fraudulent uses of a Credit Card, 2 Identity Thefts, and Trafficking in Stolen Identities for a total of 5 felony warrants with a bond of $120,000.

The investigation stretches down I-65 from Birmingham to Huntsville, where officials say the suspects allegedly stole credit and debit card information to pay for personal expenses, including a Birmingham-based rap group.

More than 200 Gardendale residents had their debit and credit card information stolen.

Gardendale Police Lt. Bryan Lynch says the suspects compromised sales at various restaurants nationwide.

"They hacked into their computer system and downloaded their credit and debit card information of various customers," Lynch explained.

Lt. Lynch didn't release the name of restaurants that were hacked, but said they were notified by the Regions Bank fraud unit and alerted to the activity.

After putting the tens of thousands of stolen dollars onto gift cards, Lynch says the suspects used the money for daily expenses, paying bills, eating out, and four of the six crooks even used the money to fund their rap group, "Hood Dynasty."

"You cant take people's money and to fund any kind of thing because that money doesn't belong to them anyways," said Cindy Brady who lives in Jefferson County.

Brady says it's frightening knowing the alleged criminals are not locked up.

"It's getting where you just cannot use your debit card that were a lot easier," she said.

"People like that will always be caught, they will not know when to stop," said Keyton Hull, the owner of Total Cellphone Repair.

Police say the individuals left a trail of evidence behind and that's how police were able to discover their names.

A total of 164 felony warrants were signed in this case. Anyone with information that will help the Gardendale Police with this case is encouraged to call police at 205-631-8787 and ask for Det. Chris Clark.

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