19 indicted on allegations of cashing U.S. Treasury checks

Federal grand jury indicts 19 accused of Atlanta fraud ring

A federal grand jury has indicted 19 people accused of cashing stolen treasury checks, credit-card fraud and identity theft, the U.S. Attorney’s office announced Wednesday.

“These indictments and arrests are a direct result of an extensive 16 month multi-agency investigation focusing on a network of individuals who facilitated their criminal enterprise through various fraudulent schemes and other criminal activities,” said J. Britt Johnson, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Atlanta. “The elaborate networking of this group allowed them to expand their criminal activities throughout multiple states as they increased their victim base.”

According to United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates, the charges, and other information presented in court: From approximately June 2012 until September 2014, the 19 conspirators worked together to steal and then cash United States Treasury checks from various sources, including the mail. The checks had been refunds to taxpayers, pension payments to retired federal employees, military families, and Social Security benefits.

“Fraud and identity theft crimes are now perceived as lucrative alternatives for criminal organizations,” Yates said. “People who commit these crimes prey upon unsuspecting victims, stealing the victims’ money and compromising their livelihoods, sometimes causing lifelong financial consequences.”

The fraud totaled about $350,000, authorities said.

At least two of the defendants obtained and sold stolen checks to at least four others in the group who paid either 25 percent of the face value or who split the proceeds with the suppliers. Those purchasers paid two others to make fake Georgia driver’s licenses with the photo of “check runners” who cashed the checks at locations in metro Atlanta, such as Wal-Mart, Kroger, and Publix.

In addition to the check-cashing scheme, the indictment charges several defendants with a separate credit card fraud scheme against Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club in 2011. After presenting the fraudulent documents at various Sam’s Club locations in Georgia, Tennessee, and Alabama, the defendants requested replacement store credit cards in the names of the victims, which the defendants then used to buy gift cards, gas, groceries, and other items at various Sam’s Club and Wal-Mart locations.

The September 11 indictment also contains other charges against individual defendants, ranging from passport fraud to illegally obtaining a firearm.

Those indicted and arrested, or already in custody, and their charges include (all from Atlanta, except where otherwise indicated):

• Hussain Abdullah, 33, conspiracy to commit theft of government funds, theft of government funds, aggravated identity theft, and conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robbery.

• Hudhayfah Abdullah, 31, conspiracy to commit theft of government funds, theft of government funds, aggravated identity theft, and lying on required form to purchase a firearm.

• Asad “Baldhead” Abdullah, 36, conspiracy to commit theft of government funds, theft of government funds, aggravated identity theft, conspiracy to commit access device fraud, and access device fraud.

• Hafid Abdur-Rabbani, 36, conspiracy to commit theft of government funds, theft of government funds, and aggravated identity theft.

• Ibrahim Abdur-Rabbani, 32, of Decatur, conspiracy to commit theft of government funds, theft of government funds, and aggravated identity theft.

• Khalil Majeed, 34, conspiracy to commit theft of government funds, theft of government fund, and aggravated identity theft.

• Sayeed Valdez, 37, conspiracy to commit theft of government funds, theft of government funds, and aggravated identity theft.

• Erica Willis, 35, conspiracy to commit theft of government funds, theft of government funds, and aggravated identity theft.

• Dexter “Qadir Monies” or “Dent” Willis, 35, conspiracy to commit theft of government funds.

• Antonio Slaton, 36, conspiracy to commit theft of government funds.

• Cory Howell, 42, conspiracy to commit theft of government funds.

• Damion Davis, 30, of College Park, conspiracy to commit theft of government funds.

• Ali Al-Amin, 35, conspiracy to commit theft of government funds, theft of government funds, and aggravated identity theft.

• Zakariyah Abdullah, 34, conspiracy to commit theft of government funds, theft of government funds, aggravated identity theft, and improper use of a passport.

• Billee Cosby, 33, conspiracy to commit access device fraud, access device fraud, and aggravated identity theft.

• Mikal Majeed, 32, of Ellenwood, conspiracy to commit access device fraud, access device fraud, and aggravated identity theft.

• Muhajid Ahmad, 32, conspiracy to commit theft of government funds, theft of government funds, and aggravated identity theft.

• Joann Drigo, 26, conspiracy to commit theft of government funds.

• Jasmine Proctor, 19, conspiracy to commit theft of government funds, and theft of government funds.

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