Atlanta Men Sentenced in Credit Card Cigarette Fraud Scheme

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ATLANTA – Mamadou Sow, Demarcus Myree, Boubacar Tivalo, and Jacob James, have been sentenced for access device fraud and aggravated identity theft related to purchases of massive quantities of cigarettes from Sam’s Club retail locations in metro Atlanta.

“Identity theft wreaks havoc on the lives of individuals and compromises the financial security of victims,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Kurt R. Erskine. “The sentences reflect the egregiousness of their conduct and the harm caused to dozens of victims, including individuals, financial institutions, and the retail establishments.”

“Identity thieves are a serious threat to our community because these scammers can steal so much of your hard-earned money and vanish before you’re ever alerted,” said Special Agent in Charge Katrina W. Berger, who oversees Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) operations in Georgia and Alabama. “HSI and its partners are constantly working to identify, arrest and prosecute criminals, like these, that are exploiting the security of our financial networks.”

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According to Acting U.S. Attorney Erskine, the charges and other information presented in court: Mamadou Sow, Demarcus Myree, and Boubacar Tivalo obtained Sam’s Club memberships and membership cards in their names and aliases. From September 2018 through November 30, 2018, the defendants used dozens of stolen credit cards, issued by various financial institutions, to make unauthorized purchases of cigarettes at Sam’s Club retail locations throughout metro Atlanta. In combination with some cash transactions, these three defendants purchased over $1.7 million worth of cigarettes during the scheme. Myree was also charged with possession of a stolen firearm.

From September 2018 to December 2018, Jacob James, who was charged in a separate indictment, purchased over $635,000 worth of cigarettes from Sam’s Club stores using stolen credit cards.

The defendants have been sentenced by U.S. District Judge Eleanor L. Ross as follows:

Mamadou Sow, a/k/a Moussa Sow, 30, of Guinea, was sentenced to two years, six months in prison for access device fraud, to be followed by two consecutive years imprisonment for aggravated identity theft. He was also sentenced to serve three years of supervised release and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $749,772.31. Sow was convicted on these charges on July 23, 2019, after he pleaded guilty.
Demarcus Myree, a/k/a Yuri Markosov, 27, of Atlanta, Georgia, was sentenced to two years, six months in prison for access device fraud and possession of a stolen firearm, to be followed by two consecutive years imprisonment for aggravated identity theft. He was also sentenced to serve two years of supervised release and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $339,545.42. Myree was convicted on these charges on June 26, 2019, after he pleaded guilty.

Boubacar Tivalo, a/k/a Tivado Boubacar, 46, of Guinea, was sentenced to two years, six months in prison for access device fraud, to be followed by two consecutive years imprisonment for aggravated identity theft. He was also sentenced to serve three years of supervised release and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $664,305.52. Tivalo was convicted on these charges on September 10, 2019, after he pleaded guilty.

Jacob James, a/k/a Mark Johnson and Joe Johnson, 31, of Atlanta, Georgia, was sentenced to two years in prison for access device fraud, to be followed by two consecutive years imprisonment for aggravated identity theft. He was also sentenced to serve three years of supervised release and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $635,242.75. James was convicted on these charged on November 24, 2020, after he pleaded guilty.

This case was investigated by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations

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