A citizen of Guyana has admitted to her role in a wide-ranging scheme to use counterfeit credit cards at stores throughout the Northeast, including 47 Price Chopper Supermarkets, as a result of the joint efforts of the Price Choppers Asset Protection team and the U.S. Secret Service.
Georgette Jackman, 37, pleaded guilty on Friday to multiple counts related to the retail fraud scheme. Identity theft incidents described as part of a U.S. Secret Service investigation involved trafficking more than $400,000 worth of counterfeit credit cards in grocery stores across New York and New England. Charges included conspiracy to commit access device fraud, aggravated identity theft, and trafficking in counterfeit access devices. Known credit card fraud incidents took place in New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Connecticut, according to an announcement by the Department of Justice.
Prosecutors state that from February 2012 to January 2013, Jackman provided hundreds of counterfeit credit cards with stolen account numbers and fake names to Jamese Williams and Terry Nicholas, both of Brooklyn. The three carpooled as they went from grocery store to grocery store, using their counterfeit credit cards to buy $435,465 worth of gift cards, which would go to Jackman. The trio also unsuccessfully attempted to purchase another $112,916 worth of gift cards through the life of the scheme, according to the plea agreement.
The gift cards were to other retail stores, including Home Depot and Sears. The agreement did not indicate specifically what Jackman then did with the cards.
In one instance, Jackman is accused of providing Williams with a series of counterfeit Discover cards that Williams then tried to use to commit credit card fraud at a Connecticut Price Chopper in December 2012. Williams tried three of the cards, but they were declined. The fourth went through and the trio successfully made off with $16,900 in Sears and Home Depot gift cards. Five days later, the three allegedly possessed a total of 118 gift cards, along with 24 counterfeit credit cards, according to an indictment in the case. Similar scenarios played out with Nicholas that resulted in the purchase of gift cards, the indictment read.
A Price Chopper spokeswoman indicated on Monday that the company’s asset protection team identified the suspicious purchases, uncovering the retail fraud scheme that was then brought to the attention of Secret Service investigators.
Williams and Nicholas have already pleaded guilty to their roles in the credit card fraud scam. They are to be sentenced in December.
Jackman awaits sentencing, currently scheduled for Feb. 18th in Albany before United States District Judge Mae A. D’Agostino. A citizen of Guyana, Jackman faces up to 15 years of imprisonment on the conspiracy and trafficking charges and a mandatory two years of imprisonment on the aggravated identity theft charge, which must be served consecutive to any other sentence of imprisonment. She also faces deportation from the U.S. following the completion of her sentence.