Alleged DeKalb ID thieves accused of getting U.S. senator from Hawaii

A DeKalb County woman returned to court Monday for the first time since being arrested in February 2010 for allegedly stealing a U.S. senator’s credit card information.

Trianna Chenee Moss, 20, is accused of helping two other people buy $12,000 worth of Wal-Mart gift cards and other merchandise using counterfeit credit cards with real account numbers encoded on the magnetic strip.

One of the alleged victims is Daniel Inouye, the Democratic U.S. senator for Hawaii.

"The Senator was immediately informed of the theft in February while on official travel on the island of Maui," Inouye spokesman Peter Boylan told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in an e-mail.

Moss, 20, was indicted in May for her part in the scam, for which she’s accused of one count of identity theft and credit card fraud.

Police are still looking for her alleged partner-in-crime, Tahir Abdul Hamed, 36.

The indictment claims that the two made several fraudulent purchases between Jan. 1 and Feb. 23, 2010.

Moss worked at the Wal-Mart at 3580 Memorial Drive and would facilitate the purchases, police said.

Wal-Mart officials told police that a couple would enter the store from time to time and select various items and gift cards that they would always pay for at whatever cash register where Moss was cashiering.

Video recordings showed that Moss often would keep some of the gift cards that were loaded with money, police said.

Moss was released from the DeKalb County Jail on March 1, 2010, on $12,000 bond.

Her preliminary hearing Monday was postponed until Nov. 28.

A third suspect identified by police as Dana Nichole Watkins, 27, was not named in the indictment.

First Hawaiian Bank officials told police that Inouye’s credit card also was used at other Wal-Mart locations.

The senator, through his spokesman, said the incident reemphasizes the prevalence of identity theft.

"This incident illustrates that anyone can be targeted by identity thieves at anytime and we must all work hard to safeguard our personal information," Boylan's email said. "It is also a testament to the effectiveness of our criminal justice system."

It is unclear how many more cards were used in this scheme, or how the suspects allegedly acquired the card numbers.

Police continue to investigate the incident.