Credit card ID theft ring busted
by JOHN A. WINTERS
Coweta County authorities have arrested two men in connection with a suspected ID theft ring, with more arrests expected.
With stolen financial information, the suspects used computers, printing and hologram machines, as well as magnetic card encoders, to create credit and debit cards and driver’s licenses, according to Investigator Chad McDonald with the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office.
One suspect was arrested Tuesday while attempting to cash a fake check at an area bank, McDonald said, adding the suspect had tried similar tactics before. That suspect, Muhammed Munjuru Jah Jr., 22, of College Park, was caught with several fake IDs.
“During questioning, the suspect identified where they were committing the fraud,” McDonald said.
Coweta investigators, along with the Fulton County SWAT Team, executed search warrants on a Fulton County residence about 7 a.m. Thursday, McDonald said. Two men were arrested, but only one was involved in the Coweta County case. That suspect was Andenet Bekele Shimeles, 25, of Atlanta.
Investigators confiscated several computers and printers. Also seized were more than 20 fake identification cards and dozens of fake credit and debit cards, the investigator said. Also taken were machines that would make the actual card, another that would add a hologram, and a magnetic encoder that creates an account on the card.
“They had a full operation going,” McDonald said. “They’d use all these devices and the end product looked real.”
As of now, Shimeles is charged with two counts of ID fraud, two counts of forgery in the second degree and two counts of forgery in the third degree, according to the investigator. Jah is charged with two counts of identity fraud, one count of forgery in the second degree and one count of forgery in the third degree.
“More charges and arrests will come,” McDonald said. “We don’t know the full scope yet… the work has just begun.”