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Credit Card Fraud Los Angeles

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 23, 1992 | JULIE TAMAKI and MICHAEL CONNELLY, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
The investigators who searched the apartment on Reseda Boulevard last week were looking for the leader of a fraud ring who was changing the magnetic coding on credit cards, making them usable for thousands of dollars in untraceable purchases. They found new stereo equipment, a closet full of expensive clothing and other merchandise believed to have been purchased with the fraudulent cards. They also found a home computer and an encoding device used to alter credit cards.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 30, 1999 | ANDREW BLANKSTEIN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Three federal workers were booked on suspicion of theft, fraud and money laundering Wednesday in connection with an elaborate scheme to pocket money from a Woodland Hills credit card processing firm, authorities said. Carolyn Deruso, 60, a Treasury Department employee, her daughter Lelani Deruso, 31, a Defense Department worker and Wanda McClain, 31, also of Treasury--will be arraigned today in Van Nuys Municipal Court, prosecutors said.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 20, 1992
A 19-year-old Reseda college student has been arrested on suspicion of heading a ring of thieves who used credit cards with altered magnetic strips to fraudulently make nearly $100,000 in purchases, police said Wednesday. Ali Mojaddam was arrested Tuesday after police searched his apartment and found electronics equipment, clothing and other merchandise that are believed to have been purchased with altered credit cards, Detective Julio Nieves said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 30, 1999 | ANDREW BLANKSTEIN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Three federal workers were booked on suspicion of theft, fraud and money laundering Wednesday in connection with an elaborate scheme to pocket money from a Woodland Hills credit card processing firm, authorities said. Carolyn Deruso, 60, a Treasury Department employee, her daughter Lelani Deruso, 31, a Defense Department worker, and Wanda McClain, 31, also of the Treasury Department, will be arraigned today in Van Nuys Municipal Court, prosecutors said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 8, 1996 | HENRY WEINSTEIN TIMES LEGAL AFFAIRS WRITER
A South-Central Los Angeles man pleaded guilty Thursday to conspiracy, perjury, and filing false tax returns and unauthorized bankruptcy petitions for poor people as part of a sophisticated fraud scheme to get phony credit cards that he used to buy cars and other goods. Eugene J. Hawkins admitted to U.S. District Judge John G. Davies that he committed the crimes after telling needy people that he would help them forestall evictions or ameliorate their credit problems.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 19, 1993 | MICHAEL CONNELLY, TIMES STAFF WRITER
It doesn't exactly rank with the plot of "Night of the Living Dead," but police said Wednesday that dozens of the deceased may have been on illegal shopping and check-cashing sprees in the San Fernando Valley. Or at least the names of the dead were being used on the sprees--until two bounty hunters inadvertently shut down a credit fraud ring. Three men were arrested Monday in Reseda after the bounty hunters stumbled onto an "identification mill" while tracking one of the men.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 30, 1999 | ANDREW BLANKSTEIN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Three federal workers were booked on suspicion of theft, fraud and money laundering Wednesday in connection with an elaborate scheme to pocket money from a Woodland Hills credit card processing firm, authorities said. Carolyn Deruso, 60, a Treasury Department employee, her daughter Lelani Deruso, 31, a Defense Department worker and Wanda McClain, 31, also of Treasury--will be arraigned today in Van Nuys Municipal Court, prosecutors said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 7, 1996 | NICHOLAS RICCARDI
The 62-year-old owner of a North Hollywood card-printing business, who once went on TV to demonstrate how to make phony credit cards, pleaded guilty Tuesday to forging more than 1,000 of them, officials said. As part of a plea agreement with federal prosecutors, Dalton Backus pleaded guilty to five counts of trafficking in fake credit cards and one count of possession of phony cards, Assistant U.S. Atty. Lisa Feldman said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 1, 1998 | HECTOR BECERRA, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Sheriff's deputies with an organized crime unit arrested a 19-year-old man Thursday who allegedly made phony credit cards in a small suite in Hollywood. Sheriff's detectives seized bogus Visa, MasterCard and American Express cards, as well as $6,500 in cash at the home of Boris Khukhzuv. In a Hollywood Boulevard office suite Khukhzuv had been renting for a month, detectives found a computer, scanner, magnetic encoder and about 400 counterfeit cards, said Sgt.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 9, 1992
A North Hollywood man suspected of running a highly sophisticated computer hacking and credit fraud operation from two apartments has been arrested, officials said Saturday. Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy Hal Grant said Danny Shafer, 25, was arrested about 12:25 p.m. Friday at his residence in the 7600 block of Laurel Canyon Boulevard.
BUSINESS
December 30, 1999 | Jeff Leeds
Defense Department investigators arrested two federal employees and a third woman on suspicion of diverting money from a Woodland Hills credit card processing firm. Investigators said Carolyn Deruso, 60, a member of the clerical staff of the Defense Contract Management Command, recruited a co-worker, Wanda McClain, 31, and her own daughter, Lelani Deruso, 31, a former employee of the U.S.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 1, 1998 | HECTOR BECERRA, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Sheriff's deputies with an organized crime unit arrested a 19-year-old man Thursday who allegedly made phony credit cards in a small suite in Hollywood. Sheriff's detectives seized bogus Visa, MasterCard and American Express cards, as well as $6,500 in cash at the home of Boris Khukhzuv. In a Hollywood Boulevard office suite Khukhzuv had been renting for a month, detectives found a computer, scanner, magnetic encoder and about 400 counterfeit cards, said Sgt.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 8, 1998
A fugitive Los Angeles telemarketer who allegedly capitalized on anti-Bill and Hillary Clinton sentiment to steal thousands of dollars from unwitting credit card holders was indicted Tuesday, authorities said. An arrest warrant has been issued for Daniel Sonners, 39, who is named in a four-count federal indictment.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 22, 1996 | BETH SHUSTER
Continuing their efforts to crack down on a suspected ring of Nigerian credit-card forgers, Los Angeles police arrested four people Tuesday believed to be buying thousands of dollars of merchandise for their personal use and resale. In nearly two months, detectives from the LAPD's bunco-forgery unit in Van Nuys have arrested nine people suspected of being part of the fraud ring.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 8, 1996 | HENRY WEINSTEIN TIMES LEGAL AFFAIRS WRITER
A South-Central Los Angeles man pleaded guilty Thursday to conspiracy, perjury, and filing false tax returns and unauthorized bankruptcy petitions for poor people as part of a sophisticated fraud scheme to get phony credit cards that he used to buy cars and other goods. Eugene J. Hawkins admitted to U.S. District Judge John G. Davies that he committed the crimes after telling needy people that he would help them forestall evictions or ameliorate their credit problems.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 7, 1996 | NICHOLAS RICCARDI
The 62-year-old owner of a North Hollywood card-printing business, who once went on TV to demonstrate how to make phony credit cards, pleaded guilty Tuesday to forging more than 1,000 of them, officials said. As part of a plea agreement with federal prosecutors, Dalton Backus pleaded guilty to five counts of trafficking in fake credit cards and one count of possession of phony cards, Assistant U.S. Atty. Lisa Feldman said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 27, 1994 | MARY HELEN BERG and PATRICK J. McDONNELL, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
At least 20 suspects are expected to be charged this week with telephone calling card fraud in a Huntington Park case that authorities and industry representatives say may be the largest crackdown on such black market calls ever conducted in Southern California. Huntington Park police teamed up with LDDS Metromedia Communications, the nation's fourth-largest long distance company, to target pirated long distance calls from pay phones in the city.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 30, 1999 | ANDREW BLANKSTEIN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Three federal workers were booked on suspicion of theft, fraud and money laundering Wednesday in connection with an elaborate scheme to pocket money from a Woodland Hills credit card processing firm, authorities said. Carolyn Deruso, 60, a Treasury Department employee, her daughter Lelani Deruso, 31, a Defense Department worker, and Wanda McClain, 31, also of the Treasury Department, will be arraigned today in Van Nuys Municipal Court, prosecutors said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 5, 1995 | ERIC MALNIC, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Five alleged members of a nationwide travelers check and credit card counterfeiting ring have been arrested and some of their loot--including cars, furs, television sets, jewelry, furniture, cash and Dom Perignon champagne--has been seized, sheriff's deputies said Friday. All five suspects were on parole for similar offenses, and one of them was receiving welfare checks, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 27, 1994 | MARY HELEN BERG and PATRICK J. McDONNELL, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
At least 20 suspects are expected to be charged this week with telephone calling card fraud in a Huntington Park case that authorities and industry representatives say may be the largest crackdown on such black market calls ever conducted in Southern California. Huntington Park police teamed up with LDDS Metromedia Communications, the nation's fourth-largest long distance company, to target pirated long distance calls from pay phones in the city.
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