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LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- A massive credit card scheme with at least 300 victims around the world was ended by police in Southern Indiana.
Five people have been charged with having hundreds of counterfeit credit cards as part of a fraud scheme allegedly based in New York. The U.S. Secret Service and the Clarksville Police Department collaborated on the investigation.
"Counterfeit currency, the use of identity and proprietary information for the benefit of victimizing innocent people is an ongoing concern for state local and federal law enforcement," said U.S. Attorney Joseph Hogsett.
Hogsett and Special Agent Paul Johnson of the U.S. Secret Service said a clerk at Sam's Club in Clarksville told a security officer she was suspicious of some of the suspects. While the clerk tipped off security, credit was also given to Clarksville Police for catching the suspects at a nearby restaurant.
"It's one of the ways that you get folks locked up and in custody," said Johnson. "If it hadn't had been for the folks, the security, the personnel at Sam's Club here in Indiana, these folks might be on the road, continuing to create mayhem."
54-year-old Trevor Hinds, 33-year-old Paul Roberson, 37-year-old Blandine Joseph, 27-year-old Tycia Peterson, and 21-year-old Amanda Adam, all New York residents, have been charged in connection with the scheme.
Police say Roberson, Peterson, and Adam tried to use fraudulent credit cards at the Sam's Club in Clarksville on April 3 of this year. Those credit transactions were declined. Store security became suspicious and alerted the police.
Roberson, Peterson, and Adam then allegedly left the store and met with Hinds and Joseph in the parking lot. They were followed to a nearby Red Lobster, where Clarksville Police officers asked them to leave the restaurant to be questioned.
The criminal complaint says their vehicle was searched and that more than 300 counterfeit credit cards were found in the names of all five defendants. Officers also allegedly found more credit cards hidden in restrooms in the Red Lobster.
Each defendant faces a maximum sentence of ten years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and up to three years probation.