Russians and Eastern Europeans Steal Credit Card Information, Rip-off Washington State Residents

Looks like they just flew in and set up a credit card skimming fraud scheme.

credit card skimming
Did you know you could take a course (if you speak Russian) in how to steal credit card data!  https://www.lowcards.com/russian-credit-card-fraud-gangs-offering-courses-to-would-be-crooks-50328

Check out this story from the Tri-City Herald, a paper serving Kennewick, Pasco and Richland, Washington.  And, check out this fantastic reporting by Kristin Kraemer!  This is reporting as it should be!

No typical politically-correct reporting identifying the perps as “man,” or Washington “man” here.

No ‘secret decoder ring’ needed!

 

Straight up in the headline—these are foreign crooks!

Two are Russians, the other two are from Romania and Moldova.

From the Tri-City Herald (hat tip: Robin):

These foreigners ran a credit card skimming ring in the Tri-Cities, say police

Dozens of Tri-Citians were the victim of a highly sophisticated credit card scam that ended with the arrests of four Eastern Europeans.

Police say the alleged thieves weren’t caught until they had already siphoned $17,000 from accounts just after Christmas.

And there may be dozens more unknowing victims throughout Eastern Washington since police confiscated at least 268 gift cards, each one loaded with a separate account number, name and PIN number.

While the suspects were nabbed at Numerica Credit Union in Richland, court documents show they were operating out of hotels in Yakima County and driving rental cars from Seattle and Southern California.

[….]

Emil Kabirov, 21, Denis Legun, 24, Ana Onici, 22, and George Vasile, 35, appeared Friday in Benton County Superior Court.

Judge Joe Burrowes raised Kabirov’s bail to $500,000 — an amount typically reserved for defendants in murder, violent assault and certain child sex cases.

Bail is set at $100,000 each for Legun and Vasile with the stipulation that they surrender their passports before posting bond. If they don’t hand them over but want to be released, the bail amount increases to $500,000 on each.

[….]

The suspects may have used a skimming device attached to an ATM, gas pump or a card reader in a store to record legitimate transactions.

The stolen information, or metadata, is then downloaded from the device, providing scammers with account numbers and access PINs.

Often, that information is used to make counterfeit cards with blank gift cards so the thieves can use them like credit or debit cards at various ATMs to unlawfully withdraw money from those accounts.

Much more here.

Kabirov and Legun are identified as Russians, Vasile is Romanian, and Onica is from Moldova and all are ordered to appear in court in February.  A fifth suspect got away.

Kudos to Ms. Kraemer!

So why can’t we have reporting like this more often—reporting that doesn’t shy away from telling the public when the crooks are immigrants of some sort!

question markHowever, I still have one question:  which legal immigration program did this bunch use to get in to the US, or did they arrive illegally somehow?  How can we ever reform immigration if we don’t know where the loopholes are that crooks like these creeps take advantage of?

California Sec. of State can’t Guarantee that Non-Citizens are not Voting

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla (a Democrat activist says his bio) is in the hot seat.

alex padilla
California Secretary of State Alex Padilla cannot say for sure whether non-citizens voted in California last year

In April of 2018, California began automatically registering voters when they obtained a Driver’s License.

(California is one of twelve states that allows illegal aliens to obtain licenses.)

However, apparently problems developed with a confusing questionnaire at the time  the non-citizen was obtaining a license. Padilla is blaming the DMV and the California Department of Technology for the screw-up.

The story at the Sacremento Bee is a little confusing, but a key line near the end sums it up:

Blame aside, Padilla and his critics agree the registration errors undermine voter confidence in California’s election systems.

Here are some more snips from the story (emphasis is mine):

California officials still can’t say whether non-citizens voted in the June 2018 primary because a confusing government questionnaire about eligibility was created in a way that prevents a direct answer on citizenship.

[….]

The email shows that, for months, California officials have been examining whether non-citizens voted last year. On Thursday, Secretary of State Alex Padilla confirmed for the first time that his office has an active internal investigation into the matter.

“The Secretary of State’s office does not comment on the details of ongoing investigations,” the office said in a statement. “Determining whether ineligible individuals who were erroneously registered to vote by the DMV cast ballots requires a complete review. The Secretary of State’s office is doing its due diligence by conducting a thorough investigation.”

Spokesmen for the office declined to say how the department could otherwise determine citizenship of those registered.

While the office is confident non-citizens were unable to vote in the November general election, it remains unsure about the June primary.

Since the DMV started automatically registering people to vote on April 23, 2018, it has acknowledged making 105,000 processing errors out of more than 2.4 million transactions. At least one non-citizen has come forward to say he was improperly added to the voter rolls in the latest batch of errors.

One honest non-citizen came forward to admit he was not eligible to vote!

Then this next bit is amusing (sort of).  It is not voter fraud if the fraudulent voter was registered to vote through a government error?  But, surely the government didn’t take him to the polls!

“These registrations do not constitute voter fraud, as none of the individuals erroneously registered did so through any affirmative effort on their part,” Padilla wrote in a Nov. 9 letter to Moorlach [State Sen. John Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa].

More here.

 

question mark
Who could possibly believe that there aren’t cheaters voting in California?  Once confidence in the electoral system has been eroded, especially in the 12 states that allow non-citizens to obtain Driver’s’ Licenses, how do you ever get it back?