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June 02, 2011

  • News:  Georgia Student Runs Card Skimming 

    University of Georgia doctoral student, Carlton A. Lewis has been accused of conspiring to steal debit and credit card information from diners across the Southeastern United States. He used the credit card data to charge over $145,000, according to court documents. An indictment filed in U.S. District Court in Tennessee alleges Lewis worked with two others in a complicated plot to defraud dozens of people of their credit card information.

    Lewis, along with Derron Ridley and Shena Everett, used credit card skimming devices to harvest account information from customers and then load the data onto prepaid money cards from Wal-mart. The cards were used to purchase merchandise and gift cards and would usually be sold to generate income. Everett was a server in a Baton Rouge Louisiana restaurant in 2010 when she received the skimming devices from Lewis with the purpose of stealing credit card info. Once she got the information, the stolen data was passed on to Ridley and Lewis.

    Lewis was caught when he was arrested for a DUI in March 2011. The vehicle was inventoried at the time of his arrest and the Tennessee Highway Patrol found 39 fake credit cards, a fake Texas driver's license, a credit/debit card skimming device, receipts of recently purchased merchandise, dozens of prepaid gift cards as well as iPads, iPods, digital cameras and expensive athletic shoes. The trooper contacted the U.S. Secret Service and upon investigation it was learned fraudulent transactions were made and Lewis was seen on surveillance footage making the transactions. Lewis' bank records showed $145K was deposited into his account between March 2010 and April 2011, with more than $50,000 of that in cash deposits. Lewis is currently in a Blount County, Tennessee jail, pending trial. Enrolled in a Ph.D. program, he is described as a "dedicated honor student by day, identity thief and sophisticated fraudster by night and weekend."

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