POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Four people have been arrested and three are wanted following a statewide investigation into racketeering and money laundering, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.
In March, “Organized Retail Crime Managers” from a major retail chain contacted the agency to report a number of fraudulent transactions.
Deputies reviewed surveillance video and electric journals from 67 different stores, including Gap, Old Navy, Athleta, and Banana Republic, and were able to identify seven people who were allegedly behind a total of 568 fraudulent transactions.
According to deputies, the suspects had been buying merchandise at the stores with stolen and/or fraudulent Chase Bank credit cards. Then they would return the items to different stores and receive refunds on their own personal credit cards.
Deputies said 151 credit cardholders were victimized at a total financial loss of $87,500.
“Since the beginning of the year, these felons worked together to steal victims’ credit card information and used those credit cards to steal from retail stores. The four suspects in Polk are also receiving government assistance,” said Polk County Sheriff Grady Jud. “We thank the professionals at Gap, Inc. for working with us to fight this kind of crime and the Statewide Prosecutor’s Office for their strong support. Racketeering and money laundering are very serious felonies. We will hold these criminals accountable.”
The following people have been arrested:
- Hakeem Leonard Abraham, 30, of Winter Haven
- Otis Bernard “Bee” Williams IV, 22, of Lake Wales
- Devonna O’Shea Moore, 21, of Lake Wales
- Britney Peacock, 29, of Winter Haven
They have all been charged with racketeering, criminal conspiracy to violate racketeering act, money laundering, dealing in stolen property, cheating or gross fraud and grand theft.
The sheriff’s office has warrants for three others, who are living in Miami:
- JD Jones, Jr., 31, of Miami
- Calvin Andre Pinckney, 29, of Miami
- Sha’quella Jewel Sykes, 26, of Miami
Jones is wanted for racketeering, criminal conspiracy to violate racketeering act, money laundering, dealing in stolen property, cheating or gross fraud and grand theft.
Pinckney and Sykes are wanted for racketeering, criminal conspiracy to violate racketeering act and money laundering.
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