A La Mirada man is expected to plead guilty Thursday to his role in a fraud ring that stole credit card information from restaurant customers to create counterfeit cards.
Russell Jay “Big Dog” Ogden, 44, will plead 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, 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 contend that Ogden, along with his 42-year-old wife Shelly, ran the scheme that used electronic “skimming” devices to collect information from victims’ credit cards.
Members of the scheme allegedly 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 scheme compromised more than 500 credit cards and caused various financial institutions to suffer losses of more than $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 bank fraud indictment.
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