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Greenwich Daily Voice serves Greenwich, CT

Waitress Gets Prison Time for Greenwich Fraud

GREENWICH, Conn. – A 26-year-old Rosedale, N.Y., waitress was sentenced to two months in prison and four months of home confinement Tuesday for her role in a credit-card fraud scheme that included victims from Greenwich and Stamford, the U.S. attorney's office reported Wednesday.

Chibuzo Okafor worked as a waitress at a Stamford restaurant from September 2008 to January 2009. During that time, 92 credit cards were compromised, resulting in losses of about $135,888, said David B. Fein, U.S. attorney for Connecticut.

According to court documents, while Okafor was working there she and co-worker Natasha Smith stole credit card information from customers through the use of “skimming” devices. When customers at the restaurant paid with credit cards, the women would swipe the cards through handheld skimmers before running them through the restaurant’s legitimate credit card verification system. The skimming devices copied and stored account information.

Every few weeks, the person who supplied the devices met Okafor or Smith to get the credit card information. The women were paid $20 to $25 for each credit card number and were given new skimmers.

An additional $145,435 in losses had been attributed to the conspiracy in 2008 while Okafor was employed at a restaurant in New York. She has been ordered to pay restitution of $281,323.

On March 10, 2010, Okafor pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit access device fraud. Smith pleaded guilty Dec. 27 to the same charge and was sentenced to three years of probation, the first four months of which are to be served in home confinement. She also was ordered to pay restitution of $135,888.

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