Three Arrested in Major Credit Card, ID Scam

By WEEK Reporter

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November 29, 2011 Updated Nov 29, 2011 at 7:32 PM CDT

SPRINGFIELD, Ill.-- Court dates are pending for three individuals arrested during a traffic stop, after police found a significant amount of fraudulent credit and gift cards in the car.

Illinois State Police say they originally pulled over the rented gray Dodge Caravan for not having a front license plate, but discovered the driver, 37-year-old Michelle Ayala, had two felony warrants for deceptive practices.

The two passengers were identified as Philip Bush, 51, and Felicia Mullon, 38.

During a search of the vehicle, police found a "significant amount" of fraudulent credit, debit, and gift cards, all from reputable retail establishments.

Police say they also discovered numerous blank licenses and identification cards from multiple states and machines used to produce the licenses.

"The holiday season is big business for criminals, counterfeiters, and identity thieves who are busy plying their trade with scams and fraudulent activity across state lines," explained ISP Director Hiram Grau. "This traffic stop prevented a ring of counterfeiters from exploiting and compromising the identity and personal information from hundreds of potential victims."

All three suspects were arrested and charged with altering credit cards, possession of stolen goods, possession of fraudulent credit cards, and possession of a machine to make counterfeit credit cards. They are currently being held at the Sangamon County Jail without bond.

The Illinois State Police and the U.S. Secret Service continue to investigate.

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