Ex-worker at Tulsa McDonald's pleads guilty in identity-theft ring
BY DAVID HARPER World Staff Writer
Saturday, June 30, 2012
6/30/12 at 4:20 AM
A former McDonald's employee pleaded guilty Friday to taking part in a conspiracy in which account numbers were stolen from diners' credit and debit cards, telling the court that the crimes started when a drive-through customer asked if he wanted to make some extra money.
Herbert Orin Johns Jr., 22, also pleaded guilty to an aggravated identity-theft charge in connection with the plot, which he agreed caused a total loss of more than $51,000.
A Secret Service affidavit says more than 270 credit- or debit-card numbers were found in a search of a laptop computer that was seized when four other defendants were arrested in Ponca City in October on suspicion of trying to buy merchandise with counterfeit cards.
Most debit cards had been used at a McDonald's near 71st Street and Yale Avenue in Tulsa, the document says.
Johns said Friday that he was working at the drive-through window when Daniel Yaw Jefferson, 21, asked if he would like to make some extra money and gave him his phone number. He said in his plea agreement that Jefferson and Godlive Tetty-Mensah, 19, then supplied him with a credit-card reader, known as a "skimmer."
"I began skimming unsuspecting customers' credit and debit cards," Johns states in the plea document.
Johns said he would meet with Jefferson, sometimes with Tetty-Mensah present, and the other men would use a laptop computer to download the stolen account information.
A court document indicates that Johns skimmed numbers for three weeks and received $600, two laptop computers and a video game system.
Jefferson pleaded guilty Friday to the same two charges. He stated in his plea agreement that he and four other men would take the counterfeit cards he manufactured to retail stores in Oklahoma, Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Ohio and Tennessee.
Dakota Dustan Craddock, 22, also pleaded guilty Friday to aggravated identity theft and to participating in the conspiracy.
Co-defendants Tetty-Mensah and Bismark Baah, 20, pleaded guilty previously. All five men face at least two years in prison when they are sentenced later this year.
Charges against Stanjulfran Geovester Mensah, 21, are pending.
David Harper 918-581-8359