If you had virtually unlimited access to merchandise via counterfeit credit cards, would you go to... Arby's?
Carl Hughes, Tyrea Taylor and Larry Coates did, according to an indictment on view below -- and they're accused of making plenty of other stops as well. Total estimated bill: $200,000-plus.
Between May 1 and October 1 of last year, Coates, Hughes and Taylor allegedly obtained credit card account numbers belonging to customers from a single institution: Citibank of South Dakota. They then encoded that account information onto counterfeit credit cards and started spending under false names that often showed a show-biz flair. Pseudonyms included Carl Cheadle -- likely a nod to Denver-raised Don Cheadle, of Ocean's Eleven fame -- and Summer Welch.
Some of their purchases were for big ticket items that the three are alleged to have either kept for themselves or shipped out of Colorado to thus-far-unidentified folks -- fences, presumably. In addition, they used the cards for everyday living expenses like food -- and they had simple tastes. Here's a sampling:
As you can see, most of the stores they're said to have targeted are major chains. But they also hit some stand-alones, including Eye Pieces of Vail. On a single day, August 13, the indictment says they sucked more than $5,000 worth o' stuff out of the joint in four separate transactions
The buys added up to more than $200,000 in five months -- a tidy haul. But there's no good-mood food where the three wound up. Hughes and Taylor were tossed into Denver County Jail on $500,000 bonds, while Coates was picked up in Maryland, with plans to extradite him to Colorado. Charges against them include multiple counts of theft, identity theft, forgery and conspiracy, as well as a bonus charge: violating the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act.
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Look below to see large mug shots of Carl Cheadle and Summer Welch -- er, Carl Hughes and Tyrea Taylor -- plus the aforementioned indictment.
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More from our Colorado Crimes archive: "Rose Ann Santistevan, grandmother, sues over drug raid that gave her heart attack."