Over 75 counterfeit credit cards recovered during investigation
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Two New York City women were sentenced today for credit card fraud, announced United States Attorney Carol Casto. Sasha Nelson, 21, was sentenced to six months in federal prison, followed by three years of federal supervised release. Nayosha Aice, 25, was sentenced to five years of probation, with the first six months to be served on home incarceration, and ordered to pay a $1,000 fine. Both women previously pleaded guilty to possession of 15 or more counterfeit access devices. A counterfeit access device is a credit card that has been altered to contain stolen account information that is magnetically re-encoded on the credit card.
Nelson and Aice admitted that as part of their credit card fraud scheme, they possessed 78 counterfeit access devices. Nelson and Aice drove from New York City to West Virginia, using these counterfeit credit cards to buy cartons of Newport cigarettes and other merchandise. They were observed at the St. Albans Go-Mart using multiple counterfeit cards on June 25, 2015, buying cartons of cigarettes. After noticing the suspicious behavior, store employees contacted law enforcement. Nelson and Aice further admitted that once they realized officers were observing them, they attempted to get rid of the counterfeit credit cards in nearby stores by hiding the cards or throwing the cards in the garbage. Officers successfully recovered the credit cards and subsequently confirmed that the credit cards were counterfeit access devices.
Nelson also pleaded guilty in January 2016 in Virginia to the felony offenses of use of a stolen credit card and credit card fraud. Nelson received a suspended sentence in April 2016. Nelson’s plea in the Virginia state prosecution was based on criminal conduct from May 10, 2015, six weeks prior to the conduct in West Virginia. Nelson was stopped for speeding and was found to have 30 cartons of cigarettes, 44 counterfeit credit cards that were re-encoded with stolen credit card numbers, a laptop computer, and a credit card reader/re-encoder.
The St. Albans Police Department and the United States Secret Service conducted the investigation. Assistant United States Attorneys Erik S. Goes and Eric Bacaj are in charge of the prosecutions. United States District Judge John T. Copenhaver, Jr., imposed the sentences.