Two Naperville mail carriers charged in credit-card theft, money-laundering scheme
Seven people have been charged with a fraud and money-laundering scheme that stole more than $50,000 from about 40 people in Naperville.
The defendants did so by having two postal carriers steal credit and debit cards from the mail they were delivering, according to a news release from the DuPage County state's attorney's office.
Vosheaa Haynes, 36, of the 1400 block of Andover Drive in Aurora, organized the effort, according to authorities. She is charged with two counts of organizer of a continuing financial crimes enterprise, two counts of continuing financial crimes enterprise, one count of mail fraud, three counts of wire fraud and three counts of identity theft.
Shavonna Taylor, 33, of the 1100 block of Brockton Court, Aurora, and Ariel Jakes, 21, of the 500 block of Chamberlain, Naperville, were the postal carriers, authorities said. They are charged with continuing financial crimes enterprise, identity theft, mail fraud and wire fraud.
Authorities allege Taylor and Jakes, who delivered mail throughout Naperville, stole credit and debit cards from the mail and gave them to Haynes.
Haynes and the other defendants would then activate the stolen cards and use them to buy Visa and MasterCard gift cards from various stores, including Home Depot, Walmart and Sam's Club, the news release said.
The defendants would then take the gift cards to currency exchanges in Chicago and Oak Park and redeem them for cash, according to the news release.
The scheme was uncovered when credit and debit card issuers received reports from consumers that they had not received new cards to replace ones that were due to expire.
The amount stolen from the victims, most of whom live in Naperville, exceeded $50,000, according to the release.
Arrest warrants were issued for Deyona Tucker, 30, of the 4000 block of West Gladys Avenue, Chicago; Laketha Britton, 27, of the 1100 block of North Harding Avenue, Chicago; Octavia May, 29, of the 100 block of Highpoint Drive, Romeoville; and Stephanie Brown, 35, of the 1200 block of North Lockwood Avenue, Chicago. They are charged with continuing financial crimes enterprise and identity theft.
Haynes, Taylor, Jakes and Brown are free on bond.
Naperville police and the postal service's Office of the Inspector General investigated the case.