U.S. Attorney's Office
Northern District of Georgia
(404) 581-6000
October 21, 2015

Nineteen Atlanta Residents Convicted of Operating a Ring to Cash Stolen U.S. Treasury Checks and Commit Identity Theft

ATLANTA—Nineteen defendants have been convicted in a large, stolen U.S. Treasury check and identity theft ring, with the final defendants convicted by a jury trial which concluded on Friday October 16, 2015. The defendants ran an elaborate scheme in which they stole checks, manufactured fake state driver’s licenses to use for identity theft and check cashing, and opened credit card accounts in the names of unsuspecting victims.

“Fraud and identity theft crimes are a serious and growing problem in our community,” said U.S. Attorney John Horn. “Thieves who commit these crimes prey upon unsuspecting victims, steal their money, and compromise the victims’ livelihoods, sometimes causing lasting financial charges for them and their families.”

“The convictions in this case were the result of an extensive joint investigation involving many local, state and other federal agencies, who, along with persistent federal prosecutors, clearly saw a mandate to disrupt this organized group’s repeated victimization of the U.S. government. The FBI is pleased with the role that it played in bringing this investigation forward for prosecution and it thanks those many dedicated law enforcement officers and prosecutors for staying the course on such a lengthy and complex case,” said J. Britt Johnson, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office.

According to U.S. Attorney Horn and information presented in court: From approximately June 2012 until September 2014, the defendants worked together to obtain and cash United States Treasury checks stolen from the U.S. Mail. The checks were originally issued to people entitled to the federal funds, including taxpayers receiving refunds, retired federal employees receiving pension benefits, military families, and Social Security beneficiaries receiving Social Security and disability payments.

The defendants played different roles in the scheme: Defendants Erica Willis, Dexter Willis, and Antonio Slatton sold stolen checks to other defendants. Check purchasers, including Hussain Abdullah, Asad Abdullah, Hudhayfah Abdullah and Hafid Abdur-Rabbani, were frequent customers of the check sellers and purchased checks by either paying 25% of the check’s face value or splitting the proceeds from the check in half with the supplier. After purchasing the stolen checks, the defendants would pay identification manufacturers like Ibrahim Abdur-Rabbani and Khalil Majeed to make fake Georgia driver’s licenses matching the names and addresses of the victims, but containing photos of “check runners.” In exchange for a fee, the “ check runners” would use the fake driver’s licenses to cash the stolen checks at retail locations throughout the Atlanta, Georgia, metropolitan area, such as Wal-Mart and Publix.

As part of the investigation, FBI and other law enforcement agents worked with a confidential informant, which put them in a position to recover the stolen checks and false identifications. The government reimbursed the stores that cashed the stolen checks for the losses they incurred.

In a separate credit card fraud scheme, defendants Asad Abdullah, Mikal Majeed, and Billie Cosby, obtained and used counterfeit identification documents to pose as real Sam’s Club members. After presenting the fraudulent documents at various Sam’s Club locations in Georgia, Tennessee, and Alabama, the defendants obtained replacement store credit cards in the names of the victims, which the defendants then used to buy gift cards, gas, groceries, and other items at various Sam’s Club and Wal-Mart locations.

Across the two schemes, the defendants defrauded the federal government, Wal‑Mart, and Sam’s Club of approximately $350,000.

The defendants are as follows:

  • Asad Abdullah, 37, of Atlanta, Georgia, was convicted of conspiracy to commit theft of government funds, theft of government funds, aggravated identity theft and conspiracy to commit credit card fraud.
  • Erica Willis, 36, of Atlanta, Georgia, was convicted of conspiracy to commit theft of government funds, theft of government funds, and aggravated identity theft.
  • Hussain Abdullah, 34, of Atlanta, Georgia, was convicted ofconspiracy to commit theft of government funds, theft of government funds, and aggravated identity theft.
  • Hudhayfah Abdullah, 32, of Atlanta, Georgia, was convicted of conspiracy to commit theft of government funds, theft of government funds, and aggravated identity theft.
  • Hafid Abdur-Rabbani, 37, of Atlanta, Georgia, was convicted of conspiracy to commit theft of government funds, theft of government funds, and aggravated identity theft.
  • Ibrahim Abdur-Rabbani, 33, of Atlanta, Georgia, was convicted of conspiracy to commit theft of government funds, theft of government funds, and aggravated identity theft.
  • Khalil Majeed, 35, of Atlanta, Georgia, was convicted of conspiracy to commit theft of government funds, theft of government funds, and aggravated identity theft.
  • Ali Al-Amin, 36, of Atlanta, Georgia, was convicted of conspiracy to commit theft of government funds, theft of government funds, and aggravated identity theft.
  • Zakariyah Abdullah, 35, of Atlanta, Georgia, was convicted of aggravated identity theft and using a passport belonging to another.
  • Sayeed Valdez, 38, of Atlanta, Georgia, was convicted of conspiracy to commit theft of government funds.
  • Antonio Slaton, 37, of Atlanta, Georgia, was convicted of conspiracy to commit theft of government funds.
  • Cory Howell, 43, of Atlanta, Georgia, was convicted of conspiracy to commit theft of government funds.
  • Damion Davis, 31, of Atlanta, Georgia, was convicted of conspiracy to commit theft of government funds.
  • Dexter Willis, 36, of Atlanta, Georgia, was convicted of conspiracy to commit theft of government funds.
  • JoAnn Drigo, 37, of Atlanta, Georgia, was convicted of conspiracy to commit theft of government funds.
  • Muhajid Ahmad, 33, of Atlanta, Georgia, was convicted of conspiracy to commit theft of government funds.
  • Billee Cosby, 34, of Atlanta, Georgia, was convicted of conspiracy to commit credit card fraud.
  • Mikal Majeed, 33, of Atlanta, Georgia, was convicted of aggravated identity theft.
  • Jasmine Proctor, 20, of Atlanta, Georgia, was convicted of interfering with the U.S. Mail.

Sentencing for the defendants has not yet been scheduled.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistance in this case was provided by the following federal agencies: Federal Air Marshal Service; United States Customs and Border Protection; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; IRS-Criminal Investigations; United States Secret Service; United States Postal Service; and the Department of Homeland Security. The following state and local agencies also assisted: Georgia Bureau of Investigation; Georgia Office of Consumer Protection; Georgia Department of Corrections; Atlanta Police Department; Woodstock Police Department; Fulton County Sheriff’s Office; Henry County Police Department; Gwinnett County Police Department; Dunwoody Police Department; Brookhaven Police Department; Sandy Springs Police Department; DeKalb County Police Department; and Chamblee Police Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nekia Hackworth and Kim S. Dammers, along with DOJ Trial Attorney Hans Miller are prosecuting the case.

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