Eight people are facing charges in a Florida fraud ring operated by a man who was already behind bars in Broward County, authorities said.
The intricate scheme involved using aliases and fake driver's licenses to buy more than 550 gift cards and ran up unlawful transactions that cost companies more than $104,000, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said at a news conference Thursday.
The alleged ringleader of the group, 42-year-old Bobby Staley, ran the operation from Broward, where he was behind bars on a probation violation, Judd said. Another Broward County inmate, 28-year-old Curtis Harris, is also charged in the scheme.
Judd said Staley made calls to banks from inside prison, telling call takers that he was the owner of the business. He established new mailing addresses in Jacksonville, where five of the suspects live, and new credit cards were then linked to the victims' accounts.
Staley bragged to witnesses about smuggling cell phones into prison to assist in the scheme, and recruited his daughter, 18-year-old Adriana Staley, to take part, Judd said. Adriana Staley and another suspect, 36-year-old Ken Theogene, remain at-large.
Four other suspects - Christopher Coaxum, Leonard Robinson, Nahshon Williams, and Katrina Cyrus - were taken into custody in Duval County Thursday morning.
Bobby Staley was sentenced to prison in 2013 for a similar scheme he committed in 2009, but was let out early for good behavior in October, Judd said.
"Bobby Staley has a shockingly long criminal career, he's an unrepentant thief and con man. He steals from others' hard work. He cannot be trusted outside of jail or prison and now we have clear evidence he can't be trusted in prison," Judd said.
Staley and the other suspects are facing a number of charges including racketeering and money laundering. Attorney information wasn't available.