Accused Ringleader In NorCal Fraud Ring Sentenced To 13 Years | #computerhacking | #hacking

NAPA, CA — The Napa Police Department got word this month that one of its 2016 cases has finally been resolved with the sentencing of a woman accused of being the ringleader in a million-dollar theft ring across Napa and 12 other Northern California counties.

The case dates back to a burglary in February 2016 that was reported by an alert cab driver who reported hearing breaking glass at a business in the 3000 block of Solano Avenue in Napa. Officers discovered a closed business was burglarized, and a patrol officer spotted the suspects leaving town.

Three suspects in a stolen vehicle were arrested and officers found stolen credit-card readers in the car.

Through a follow-up investigation and multiple search warrants in Contra Costa County, the Napa Police Department learned that the thieves broke into closed medical and dental offices to steal their credit-card machines. The thieves sought specific models and would use the stolen credit card machines to put money back on gift cards or credit cards, Napa police Sgt. Pete Piersig said.

“Because the offices were used to large transactions, the suspects were able to obtain thousands of dollars with each transaction,” Piersig said.

A Walnut Creek police detective assigned to the Northern California Computer Crimes Task Force took the lead on the investigation used evidence from the Napa PD case to identify and tie in multiple other suspects.

The main suspect, Toni Coffman, was the getaway driver of the stolen vehicle in the Napa case, Piersig said.

Napa PD’s arrest of Coffman led to a search warrant at her house in Antioch, which got the ball rolling on the rest of the case, Piersig said.

On July 8, Coffman — described by the California Attorney General as the leader of the scheme —was sentenced to 13 years and 8 months in prison and was ordered to pay $861,000 in restitution.

Along with Coffman, 28 other defendants were alleged to have conspired to defraud victims throughout California by hacking the credit card terminals and merchant accounts of dozens of medical and dental businesses. The defendants pled guilty to charges ranging from grand theft, conspiracy, and burglary.

The prosecutions were the culmination of a three-year multi-agency investigation of a series of burglaries and credit card schemes across 13 counties in Northern California. Law enforcement discovered the schemes were tied to two criminal street gangs in the Antioch, Pittsburg and Bay Point areas: the BullyBoys and the CoCo Boys.

Over the course of the criminal operation, the defendants stole approximately $1 million, according to a news release issued by the California Attorney General’s Office.

The California Attorney General’s eCrime and Special Prosecution Section are jointly prosecuting the case resulting from a multiagency investigation by the Northern California Computer Crimes Task Force, Walnut Creek Police Department, Antioch Police Department, Vacaville Police Department, Sacramento Police Department, Concord Police Department, San Rafael Police Department, Pittsburg Police Department, Napa Police Department and multiple other law enforcement agencies across Northern California.

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