Hamilton County Prosecutor announces indictment in credit card theft

Today, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph T. Deters announced a 13 count indictment involving Money Laundering, Possession of Criminal Tools, Telecommunications Fraud, Misuse of Credit Cards, Theft, Receiving Stolen Property and Engaging in a Pattern of Corrupt Activity.  Indiana resident Christopher Grier (DOB 6/22/86), Indiana resident Jonathan Martin (DOB 6/5/86) and Illinois resident Ricky Lonners aka Ricky Conners (DOB 4/16/82) all stand indicted today as co-defendants.  All three defendants are charged with 3 counts of Money Laundering (Felony 3), 1 count of Aggravated Theft (Felony 3), 1 count of Theft (Felony 4), 4 counts of Possession of Criminal Tools (Felony 5), 1 count of Telecommunications Fraud (Felony 2), 1 count of Misuse of Credit Card (Felony 3), 1 count of Receiving Stolen Property (Felony 5) and 1 count of Engaging in a Pattern of Corrupt Activity (Felony 1).  If convicted of all charges, they face the possibility of 39 ½ years in prison.

On March 26, 2013 the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department apprehended Grier in a traffic stop on I-74.  The police found 45 credit cards and a small digital scale in his car.  After apprehending Grier and based on information developed in the investigation, the police responded to the Holiday Inn Express in Harrison, Ohio where they located Martin and Lonners.  The police recovered a laptop computer, credit card scanner, 44 additional credit cards and handwritten notes containing credit card information from the defendants.

The indictment today charges the three with stealing credit card information and using that information to purchase expensive items such as I-Pads. The items were then sent to a company in China for reimbursement and additional credit card information which they would use for future purchases. This was a multi-state criminal enterprise with the total amount of loss to various banking institutions well in excess of $150,000.00.  The exact amount of the loss is still being calculated.

Prosecutor Deters commented, “This is the kind of well-oiled criminal enterprise that you read about in a novel or see in a movie.  This case reminds us that everyone needs to be vigilant about protecting their personal information and letting their credit card company know if something looks suspicious on their bill.  Our thanks to the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department, RENU, United States Secret Service and Fifth Third Bank for assisting in the investigation.”