Three members of an alleged nationwide stolen credit card ring that has made $3 million in unauthorized purchases were arrested Jan. 8 in New Rochelle.The alleged leader, Hamilton Eromosele, was charged in federal court in White Plains with aggravated identity theft and conspiracy to commit bank fraud.
Youssouf “Slim” Traore and Deja Monet Handsford were accused of conspiracy to commit bank fraud.
They were arrested at an undisclosed apartment in New Rochelle and charged on the basis of warrants issued by U.S. District Court in Newark.
Discover credit cards were found throughout the apartment, according to a U.S. Secret Service agent’s affidavit, and several more had been thrown out a window.
Eromosele, also known as Emmanuel Eromosele and as Donald Sele, according to a criminal complaint, is a leader of a stolen credit card network. He allegedly obtained credit cards on the “dark web” and from other sources, recruited women on social media sites, arranged for them to travel to various cities, collected the goods they bought, sold the merchandise and paid the women a percentage of the profits.
“To date,” the criminal complaint states, “the total amount of stolen credit card purchases confirmed as part of the conspiracy is approximately $3 million.
The defendants have had previous encounters with law enforcement.
Eromosele, for instance, was arrested in East Rutherford, New Jersey in 2016, after police were alerted that women were being held against their will in a hotel room, according to the criminal complaint in the new case, and that a credit card scheme was underway.
In that case, police found 19 bogus Discover cards in an unoccupied hotel room and Eromosele in another room. A laptop computer in his room had dozens of files that listed hundreds of credit card accounts, according to the criminal complaint, including 700 stolen accounts.
Handsford, also known as Mo Bandz, was arrested in Lyons, Georgia, in 2017, after an Uber driver reported suspicious activity to police. The driver picked her up at a hotel and drove her to several stores, where she used several credit cards.
Police confiscated the merchandise and four Discover cards in the trunk of the Uber car. Police verified that Discover had no accounts under Handsford’s name.
Traore was arrested in Fayetteville, Arkansas last year, when he tried to buy a $4,800 Rolex watch at a jewelry store. The Discover card he used was listed in his name but was under an account number that had been stolen, according to the criminal complaint.
The arrest records also mention trips to and incidents in Phoenix; Putnam County, Indiana; Omaha; Oklahoma City; Nebraska; Allentown, Pennsylvania and Lehigh County, Pennsylvania.