A warrant served by FBI agents and other law enforcement agencies resulted in the arrests of ten people in a series of early morning raids across Los Angeles and Orange County. The raids were in connection with a years-long federal investigation into identity-theft and credit card fraud.
The investigation has gone on for years according to FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller.
"These allegations involved theft of credit card numbers, and replicating machines used to then, use these cards to make very large purchases."
Thieves obtained the numbers by ripping off customers using skimming devices at restaurants. They used the money they obtained to buy designer handbags, and headphones.
The warrant was served in the 13800 block of Mansa Drive in La Mirada according to an FBI spokesperson. Additional searches were also conducted in La Habra, Whittier and Norwalk.
At least ten people were taken into custody, but authorities warn that two other suspects remain at large.
The warrants were served in connection with an indictment that's expected to be unsealed later today, but the probe focused on credit-card skimming operations.
"You have individuals sometimes at commercial locations who will steal the identity of individuals by taking their credit card numbers and identity,'' according to Eimiller. "They will then replicate that card and the number and then proceed to use it at multiple other locations.''
Multiple agencies were involved in the raids including the FBI, the Drug U.S. Enforcement Administration and the Huntington Beach Police Department according to Eimiller. Other agencies included the California Highway Patrol and the U.S. Attorney's Office.
The Feds also allege that the same group also distributed meth.