EXCLUSIVE: A former major independent film producer was among 14 victims whose credit card numbers were stolen by a crew of thieves — three of whom Fort Lee police said they arrested during a traffic stop near the George Washington Bridge — an indictment returned in Hackensack says.
The ring used the stolen credit card numbers to buy gift cards and iPhones, 43 of which were found after a Fort Lee detective stopped a rented 2014 Chrysler 300 this past March for speeding past him near the GWB lower-level tolls.
The iPhones alone were worth more than $27,000, police said at the time.
Fort Lee Detective Timothy Cullen also found 60 gift cards – all bearing the stolen numbers on their magnetic strips – that Police Chief Keith Bendul said were used to buy the iPhones at various malls in Pennsylvania.
The victims included the manager of a transportation firm, a medical device sales representative and the producer, who now does nonprofit fundraising, according to the indictment (NOTE: Because they are victims, CLIFFVIEW PILOT is withholding their names).
The cards were issued by, among others, Barclays Bank, Citibank, HSBC Capitol One and RBC Royal Bank, it says.
Charged in the indictment are Queens residents Joley Aristhee, 21, who remained free on $15,000 bail, Kianne Clarke, 24 (free on $10,000 bail) and 23-year-old Kristine Lewis (free on $5,000).
All three are charged with identity theft, credit card theft, forgery and receiving stolen property (the iPhones).
Aristhee is additionally charged with hindering apprehension.