For Immediate Release - March 15, 2013

Alleged Leader of Large Criminal Enterprise in Downtown Crossing Arraigned for Identity Theft, Possession of Counterfeit Money

Extensive Network Allegedly Used Stolen Identities to Obtain Credit Cards and Cell Phones

BOSTON – The leader of an extensive criminal enterprise in Downtown Crossing has been arraigned in connection with identity theft and possession of counterfeit money, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced today.

Shahab “David” Yousheei, 36, of Brighton, was arraigned this morning in Boston Municipal Court on the charges of Identity Theft, Illegal Possession of a Credit Card Encoder, Falsely Making a Credit Card (3 counts), Using a Fraudulent Credit Card (2 counts), Receiving Goods Purchased with a Fraudulent Credit Card (2 counts) and Possession of Counterfeit Money. At the arraignment, Yousheei pleaded not guilty to all charges and bail was set at $60,000. Judge Mark Hart Summerville presided over today’s arraignment.

Yousheei was arrested yesterday as a result of a collaborative undercover sting operation by the AG’s Office, the Boston Police Department, the Massachusetts State Police and the United States Secret Service. He was arrested yesterday in Boston Common after allegedly purchasing counterfeit money. Based at a kiosk at 449 Washington St. in Downtown Crossing, Yousheei allegedly led an extensive identity theft scheme in which he used false identities to open mobile phone accounts, obtain smart phones and other high end electronics at discounted prices available to new account holders, and then sold those goods at higher prices.

In another scheme, he used stolen identities to create credit cards, used those credit cards to purchase gift cards, and ultimately sold merchandise purchased with those gift cards for a profit. He also used the fraudulent credit cards to buy high-end electronics outright. Finally, Yousheei allegedly accepted and bought counterfeit money in furtherance of his schemes.

According to investigators, Yousheei led a large group of “runners” that carried out an elaborate operation to use stolen identities to open new mobile phone accounts. They used the fraudulent accounts to obtain high-end electronics and smart phones.

Using the fraudulent accounts, the group purchased high end smart phones at discounted prices made available for new account holders. When contacted by law enforcement, those victims whose identities were stolen had no knowledge of either the new accounts or the smart phones being purchased under their name.

Yousheei also allegedly provided an illegal credit card encoder to his associates that in turn used fake or stolen identities to make credit cards. The associates then used the fraudulent credit cards to allegedly buy thousands of dollars of electronic merchandise of mostly Apple products, including iPads and laptop computers as well as gift cards. Investigators believe that the merchandise and cell phones may have been sold at Yousheei’s kiosk or possibly, overseas.

The arrest and subsequent charges against Yousheei resulted from an undercover sting operation led by Massachusetts State Police in conjunction with the United States Secret Service in which he allegedly purchased counterfeit money. Yousheei was arraigned today and pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Anyone who may have purchased merchandise from 449 Washington St. should consider immediately checking their credit for fraudulent activity. In addition, the AG’s Office advises all consumers to request routine free credit reports every year in order to check for fraudulent or inaccurate information that may negatively impact your credit. More information about steps that can be taken to prevent identity theft and safeguard personal information are listed on the AG’s website and in our Guide on Identity Theft located here.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General William Freeman of AG Coakley's Fraud and Financial Crimes Division. It was investigated by the Massachusetts State Police, the United States Secret Service, the Boston Police Department and Senior Financial Investigator Mark Pulli from the AG’s Financial Investigations Division.

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