Charmaine D. Montgomery, 23, and Brooke A. Darby, 28, bought $5,562 worth of gift cards during 90 transactions carried out over four days in June at six Home Depot and Fred Meyer stores in the Treasure Valley.
When the two Fort Worth women were arrested at the end of their spree, Boise police seized 424 counterfeit and fraudulently purchased gift cards and prepaid credit cards — the most ever recovered in a retail fraud case in Boise.
Store security officers tipped off Boise police about several suspicious transactions. Police investigated and detained Montgomery and Darby at the Boise Airport before they had a chance to leave the state.
Police found the cards in the women’s purses, their rental car and in Montgomery’s shoe. They also found a packing box addressed to Montgomery’s home that contained additional cards and an Xbox game system.
The two women flew to Boise from Fort Worth on June 21. They rented a car at the Boise Airport and went to work using stolen credit card numbers embossed onto blank cards.
Montgomery and Darby made most of their purchases using self-checkout registers in the stores. They completed up to a dozen fraudulent transactions each at each location, according to court records.
They were both charged in U.S. District Court with 30 counts of wire fraud, aggravated identity theft and possession of 15 or more counterfeit and unauthorized access devices.
Montgomery pleaded guilty on Tuesday, while Darby pleaded guilty on Nov. 10.
They face up to 20 years each in prison for wire fraud and a mandatory two years added on for identity theft.
Darby is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 25 before Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill. The sentencing date for Montgomery wasn’t immediately available Tuesday afternoon.