Wednesday, October 4, 2023
Courthouse News Service
Wednesday, October 4, 2023 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

ID Thief Had a Lot of Chutzpah

HOUSTON (CN) - A 36-year-old Texan made one too many shopping trips and faces up to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to using stolen credit card numbers to buy more than $200,000 worth of Apple computers and equipment.

Sharif John Reid, of League City, pleaded guilty to aggravated identity theft and access device fraud. He also could be fined $250,000. He was nabbed at the third Apple store he visited that day.

Reid tried to buy Apple iPads and iPhones at a Houston Apple store last August by using several stolen credit card numbers, federal prosecutors said.

"When asked to produce identification, Reid produced a fraudulent Florida driver's license in the name of another person but bearing Reid's photograph," the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a statement announcing the guilty plea.

"Apple loss prevention officers immediately recognized the name on the card as the name used to make more than $200,000 in purchases of Apple electronic equipment using fraudulent credit card numbers at Apple store locations in Louisiana and throughout Texas."

Houston Police and Apple loss prevention officers arrested Reid and found him "in possession of 18 unauthorized access devices each bearing that same name," prosecutors said.

Police officers went through the rental car Reid was driving and found 20 more stolen credit card numbers bearing the same fraudulent name. They also found four iPads and four iPhones that Reid had bought at two other Apple stores that day, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

A CitiBank fraud investigator told the Secret Service that the stolen credit card numbers were among hundreds that had been "skimmed" at a business in Austin.

Reid admitted in court that he had previously been convicted of access device fraud, and was still on supervised release when he was arrested.

He will be sentenced on April 23.

Follow @@cam_langford
Categories / Uncategorized

Read the Top 8

Sign up for the Top 8, a roundup of the day's top stories delivered directly to your inbox Monday through Friday.