U.S. Attorney's Office
Northern District of Georgia
(404) 581-6000
September 24, 2014

Nineteen Indicted for Cashing Stolen United States Treasury Checks and Credit Card Fraud

ATLANTA—A federal grand jury has indicted 19 people for stealing government money, credit card fraud, and aggravated identity theft, based on their involvement in an extensive scheme to steal and cash United States Treasury checks and use fraudulently obtained credit cards.

“Fraud and identity theft crimes are now perceived as lucrative alternatives for criminal organizations,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. “People who commit these crimes prey upon unsuspecting victims, stealing the victims’ money and compromising their livelihoods, sometimes causing lifelong financial consequences.”

J. Britt Johnson, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office, stated: “These indictments and arrests are a direct result of an extensive 16 month multi-agency investigation focusing on a network of individuals who facilitated their criminal enterprise through various fraudulent schemes and other criminal activities. The elaborate networking of this group allowed them to expand their criminal activities throughout multiple states as they increased their victim base. The FBI would like to extend its gratitude to those participating law enforcement agencies at all levels as this investigation now moves into the court system for prosecution.”

According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges, and other information presented in court: From approximately June 2012 until September 2014, the defendants worked together to steal and then cash United States Treasury checks from various sources, including the United States mail. The checks were originally issued to those 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.

Each defendant had a critical role in the fraud scheme. First, the indictment alleges that check suppliers, such as Erica Willis and Corey Howell, obtained and sold the stolen checks to other defendants. Check purchasers, including Hussain Abdullah, Asad Abdullah, Hudhayfah Abdullah and Hafid Abdur-Rabbani, were frequent customers of the check suppliers and purchased checks by either paying 25 percent 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 “runners” would use the fake driver’s licenses to cash the stolen checks at retail locations throughout the Atlanta, Ga., area, such as Wal-Mart, Kroger, and Publix.

In addition to the check-cashing scheme, the indictment charges several defendants with a separate credit card fraud scheme against Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club. Between April 2011 and November 2011, defendants Asad Abdullah, Mikal Majeed, and Billee 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 requested 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 and Wal-Mart/Sam’s Club out of over approximately $350,000.

The 19 defendants have been indicted on multiple charges of theft of government funds, credit card fraud, related conspiracy offenses, and aggravated identity theft. The indictment also contains other charges against individual defendants, ranging from passport fraud to illegally obtaining a firearm. The defendants were indicted by a federal grand jury on September 11, 2014, and some have already made their initial appearances before United States Magistrate Judge Alan J. Baverman.

Those indicted and arrested, or already in custody, and their charges include (all from Atlanta, except where otherwise indicated):

  • Hussain Abdullah, 33, conspiracy to Commit Theft of Government Funds, Theft of Government Funds, Aggravated Identity Theft, and Conspiracy to Commit Hobbs Act Robbery.
  • Hudhayfah Abdullah, 31, conspiracy to Commit Theft of Government Funds, Theft of Government Funds, Aggravated Identity Theft, and Lying on Required Form to Purchase a Firearm.
  • Asad Abdullah, a/k/a “Baldhead,” 36, conspiracy to Commit Theft of Government Funds, Theft of Government Funds, Aggravated Identity Theft, Conspiracy to Commit Access Device Fraud, and Access Device Fraud.
  • Hafid Abdur-Rabbani, 36, conspiracy to Commit Theft of Government Funds, Theft of Government Funds, and Aggravated Identity Theft.
  • Ibrahim Abdur-Rabbani, 32, of Decatur, Ga., conspiracy to Commit Theft of Government Funds, Theft of Government Funds, and Aggravated Identity Theft.
  • Khalil Majeed, 34, conspiracy to Commit Theft of Government Funds, Theft of Government Fund, and Aggravated Identity Theft.
  • Sayeed Valdez, 37, conspiracy to Commit Theft of Government Funds, Theft of Government Funds, and Aggravated Identity Theft.
  • Erica Willis, 35, conspiracy to Commit Theft of Government Funds, Theft of Government Funds, and Aggravated Identity Theft.
  • Dexter Willis, a/k/a Qadir Monies, a/k/a “Dent,” 35, conspiracy to Commit Theft of Government Funds.
  • Antonio Slaton, 36, conspiracy to Commit Theft of Government Funds.
  • Cory Howell, 42, conspiracy to Commit Theft of Government Funds.
  • Damion Davis, 30, of College Park, Ga., conspiracy to Commit Theft of Government Funds.
  • Ali Al-Amin, 35, conspiracy to Commit Theft of Government Funds, Theft of Government Funds, and Aggravated Identity Theft.
  • Zakariyah Abdullah, 34, conspiracy to Commit Theft of Government Funds, Theft of Government Funds, Aggravated Identity Theft, and Improper Use of a Passport.
  • Billee Cosby, 33, conspiracy to Commit Access Device Fraud, Access Device Fraud, and Aggravated Identity Theft.
  • Mikal Majeed, 32, of Ellenwood, Ga., conspiracy to Commit Access Device Fraud, Access Device Fraud, and Aggravated Identity Theft.
  • Muhajid Ahmad, 32, conspiracy to Commit Theft of Government Funds, Theft of Government Funds, and Aggravated Identity Theft.
  • Joann Drigo, 26, conspiracy to Commit Theft of Government Funds.
  • Jasmine Proctor, 19, conspiracy to Commit Theft of Government Funds, and Theft of Government Funds.

Members of the public are reminded that the indictment only contains charges. The defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistance in this case has been 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 have also assisted in this case: 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 United States Attorneys Kim S. Dammers and Nekia S. Hackworth are prosecuting the case.

For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.Presse-mails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the home page for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia Atlanta Division is http://www.justice.gov/usao/gan/.

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