Driving a rented blue Ford Fusion he picked up when he landed at the Boise Airport last October, Rashine Kale drove to a Walmart store on West Overland Road and bought $380 worth of prepaid gift cards and debits cards. He used debit cards encoded with stolen account numbers to make his purchases.
Over the next seven hours, Kale, 39, drove nearly 20 miles for stops at a Rite-Aid store on West Fairview Avenue, a Walmart on East Fairview in Meridian, Walgreens stores on North Eagle Road in Meridian and on North Street in Garden City, another Walmart on West State Street in Garden City and a Walgreens across town on West Overland Road in Boise. At each location, he made additional fraudulent purchases.
Working off a list of stores identified and mapped out before he arrived in Idaho, Kale averaged three transactions per stop and used eight different bogus cards to pay for his purchases. When Boise police stopped him the next day after receiving tips that a group of 10 Georgia residents were making fraudulent purchases they found 191 gift cards and pre-paid debit cards inside the rental car.
Altogether, the group made 160 fraudulent purchases totaling $49,953 on that one day. The stores were hit multiple times, with each transaction totaling $200 to $400 - not enough on their own to raise suspicion until store loss-prevention officers began reviewing the day's sales.
Worldwide, fraud losses from payment cards totaled $11.3 billion in 2012, up 15 percent from the previous year, according to the Nilson Report, which tracks the industry. Nearly half of those losses came from the United States, with $3.4 billion in losses to credit card issuers and $1.9 billion to retailers.
On Wednesday, Kale was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison for conspiracy to commit wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill also ordered Kale to pay $22,680 in restitution.
The case involving Kale and the other Georgia defendants was one of several that police in Boise and other Treasure Valley towns have investigated over the past year and a half. Police work closely with store loss prevention officers to identify credit card thieves — oftentimes from out of state —and try to locate them before they have a chance to leave town.
Kake’s co-defendants Brian Treadwell, 25, of Buford, Ga., and Mikki Williams, 25, of Loganville, Ga., were sentenced last month. Treadwell will serve 75 months in prison, while Williams was placed on three years probation and given 200 hours of community service. Williams accompanied Kale to four of the stores and made her own fraudulent purchases.
Clarence Collins, 34, of Douglasville, Ga., was sentenced earlier this month to 78 months in prison, while Charles Moore, 25, of Stone Mountain, Ga., was sentenced to 51 months and Jonathan Penn, 20, of Suwanee, Ga., was sentenced to 24 months.
Jean Estinville, 26, of Lawrenceville, Ga., and Rakeen Anderson, 31, of Atlanta pleaded guilty and are scheduled to be sentenced next month.
Kyandre Banks, 34, of Lilburn, Ga., and Terrance Barimah, 26, of Lawrenceville, Ga., are fugitives.