Chicago-area residents face fraud, identity theft charges for three day Meijer shopping spree

Five Chicago-area residents are facing numerous federal felony charges after they allegedly went on a maniacal three-day shopping spree through three states spending thousands of dollars at Target and Meijer stores using fake credit cards.

The 15-count indictment filed by the United States Attorney in Grand Rapids lists nearly 400 transactions from April 2007, when the conspirators allegedly used a machine to put a fraudulent account number on a Visa card, which was then used to purchase items and gift cards.

The indictment claims the four men and one woman rented a U-Haul on April 20, 2007, near Chicago and began heading northeast. After hitting numerous Meijer and Target stores in Indiana and southwest Michigan, the group made it to the Meijer Store at 54th Street and Clyde Park Avenue in Wyoming.

In Wyoming on April 21, 2007, they used Meijer gift cards purchased elsewhere to make more than $1,600 in purchases, according to the indictment.

Federal prosecutors say the five then traveled to Caledonia and hit the Meijer there for nearly $1,800 in gift card purchases.

Then it was to Meijer stores in Grandville, Jenison, at 28th Street SE and Kalamazoo Avenue, Cascade Township, the East Beltline Avenue, Plainfield Avenue NE, Alpine Avenue NW and the Walker store. Each was allegedly hit for between $1,000 and $2,000 using either gift cards or Visa.

By 2:30 a.m. April 23, they were swinging back to the Jenison store to allegedly have transactions totaling around $7,000 and then one more Kent County stop around 4 a.m. at the Grandville Meijer for more than $1,100 in purchases.

E-Bay was used to sell items and to make bank transfers prior to the trip, according to the indictment.

Items purchased included video game systems and music players.

The five Chicago-area residents charged are Seth Ryan — the alleged ringleader, Grzegorz Stachurski, Kimberly Stachurski, Michael Boerger and Arthur Smith IV. Charges include conspiracy to commit credit card fraud and identity theft.

courtesy of The Grand Rapids Press

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