PORTLAND, Maine — Two men were indicted last week by a federal grand jury on charges related to their alleged use of fake credit, debit and gift cards to purchase nearly $6,000 worth of merchandise between Sept. 5 and Jan. 24.
Gyadeen Ramdihall, 27, of Rosedale, N.Y., and Jervis Antonio Hillaire, aka Jerome Leslie, 25, of Menifee, Calif., are expected to be arraigned this week. Both are free on $5,000 unsecured bail and living with relatives in New York but confined to those homes.
Each man is charged with one count of conspiracy to possess counterfeit access devices, two counts of possession of counterfeit access devices, two counts of use of counterfeit access devices and one count of wire fraud.
The duo first came to the attention of Maine law enforcement on Sept. 5, 2013, when a clerk at a Kittery convenience store clerk reported Hillaire and a woman, who has not been charged, “were using multiple gift cards to purchase different gift cards, each for several hundred dollars,” according to the complaint. “If a card was declined [the woman] and Hillaire would reduce the amount of the requested gift card and try again.”
Kittery police seized 38 counterfeit credit cards and several thousand dollars in electronics and gift cards from the rental car in which the woman, Hillaire and Ramdihall were traveling, the complaint said. The trio was not charged at the time.
Most of the cards were counterfeit because “they were printed with toner printing, contained embossing defects and because the bank identification number printed on the card did not match the number embossed on the card,” the complaint said. The cards also were used on Sept. 5 to purchase more than $1,700 in merchandise from Best Buy in Topsham and nearly $3,200 in electronics from the Apple store in South Portland.
Hillaire and Ramdihall were stopped by Ohio State Police on Oct. 10, 2013, according to the complaint. During a search of their rental car 17 fake credit cards were found in the trunk under the spare tire. As of Sunday, the men were not facing federal charges in that state.
The duo returned to Maine and were arrested in late January after using four differents cards at a Biddeford Walmart to buy a $300 gift card, a different credit card to buy more than $95 in baby formula and sundries, and three different cards to purchase two iPod Touch devices for more than $300 each, according to court documents.
If convicted, the men face up to 20 years in federal prison on the most serious charge, wire fraud. They also could be ordered to pay up to $250,000 in fines and restitution.