Woman admits role in credit card scam that bilked $548,381 from Price Chopper
ALBANY Jamese Williams had five Discover cards declined at a Price Chopper in Albany before a sixth one worked.
With the credit card accepted, Williams quickly racked up a hefty bill in prepaid gift cards for Marriott, Home Depot and Sears. Altogether, she duped the grocery store out of $9,600 worth of gift cards on Jan. 15, 2013.
On Wednesday, the 29-year-old Brooklyn woman pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit access device fraud and aggravated identity theft under a plea agreement in U.S. District Court in Albany. She admitted her role in a scam that used hundreds of counterfeit credit cards at Price Chopper locations throughout the Northeast to purchase more than a half-million dollars worth of gift cards.
Williams faces a mandatory minimum of two years behind bars. She could, however, face up to 10 years in prison on the fraud charge when sentenced Aug. 6.
Co-defendant Terry R. Nicholas, 24, of Brooklyn, still faces charges of conspiracy, identity theft and fraud. He is being held without bail awaiting a trial scheduled for July in Albany.
Altogether, Williams admitted to visiting 47 Price Chopper locations in New York, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Connecticut. At each one, she and Nicholas used credit cards embossed with a name that did not match the actual account holder, according to prosecutors.
Williams personally engaged in the fraudulent transactions on more than 50 occasions, according to prosecutors. Altogether, the two inflicted $548,381 in losses, prosecutors said.