A La Mirada man pleaded guilty Thursday for his role in a fraud ring that stole credit card information from restaurant customers to create counterfeit cards.
Russell Jay “Big Dog” Ogden, 44, pleaded guilty in downtown Los Angeles to conspiracy and aggravated identity theft charges in connection with the bank case, and to two drug distribution charges in a separate federal indictment.
Ogden faces a mandatory minimum of a dozen years behind bars at sentencing on March 4, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Ogden was among 13 people — most of them linked to street gangs based in La Mirada and Norwalk — charged last year in the bank scam. Prosecutors said Ogden, along with his 42-year-old wife, ran the scheme that used electronic “skimming” devices to collect information from victims’ credit cards.
Shelly Anne Ogden, who previously pleaded guilty to the conspiracy and identity theft charges, was sentenced in March to 54 months behind bars and ordered to pay a share of about $500,000 in restitution.
Members of the scheme encoded the stolen information on counterfeit credit cards and used the phony cards to purchase big-ticket items that were later sold for a profit. Investigators determined that many of the credit cards in the case were skimmed at a restaurant in Huntington Beach.
In total, the fraud ring compromised more than 500 credit cards and caused various financial institutions to suffer losses of about $500,000 when the cards were used across Southern California at department stores such as Nordstrom and Bloomingdales, sporting goods stores and Toys R Us, according to the indictment.
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