I Team 10 Investigation: Secret Service raid Penfield home; man accused of credit card fraud | Crime
A Monroe Community College student is under arrest, accused of running a credit card fraud operation out of his home in Penfield.
I-Team 10 got a tip this morning that U.S. Secret Service agents were searching the home on Qualtrough Road.
What we have uncovered is what appears to be a one-man operation, and that he used stolen credit card numbers to buy gift cards, which authorities say he was then able to turn into cash.
Two people, who appeared to be staying at the house, tried to block our cameras as we videotaped the raid this morning. But our cameras were still able to capture images of agents as they took computers and other personal belongings from the house.
We also noticed in the garage, two luxury cars, including a brand new Mercedes.
Investigators then emerged from the house with a man in hand-cuffs, who we have now confirmed is Antony Asari-Ho. He is now charged with federal crimes involving credit card fraud.
According to court documents obtained by I-Team 10, Asari-Ho is a part-time M.C.C. student with no job. He is also on probation for an earlier forgery arrest.
This case all started when a victim in Ohio called authorities about numerous unauthorized credit card purchases made in the Syracuse area. A total of almost 300 fraudulent transactions on five different people's credit cards eventually led secret service agents to the home of Asari-Ho.
According to the court papers, investigators used surveillance video at Wal-Mart and Tops stores in Syracuse to identify him as the man using those stolen card numbers. Authorities say he primarily bought gift cards, and a search of his trash turned up several gift cards and empty card wrappers as well as gift card receipts.
Investigators say after purchasing the gift cards, he would swipe them through a device that hooks to a smart phone and allows you, for a fee, to process gift cards and deposits the cash value into your account. According to the complaint, from January to the end of March, 52 deposits totaling more than $28,000 went into Asari-Ho's account through that electronic payment service.
Because most of the fraudulent transactions occurred in Syracuse, Asari-Ho was taken there for arraignment today. He pled not guilty and was ordered held until a detention hearing next week.
It isn't clear how he got other people's credit card account information. However, it's widely known that stolen credit card numbers along with the account holders personal information can be purchased pretty cheaply on-line. Then it's just a matter of making a new card.