Two defendants pleaded guilty Monday to federal charges in connection with a counterfeit credit-card scheme that came to light last year in Perryville, Mo.
Faisal D. Elmi, 33, of Alexandria, Va., and Mamadou A. Sall, 26, of Cheverly, Md., pleaded guilty to using counterfeit access devices and possession of 15 or more counterfeit access devices. Sall also pleaded guilty to possession of device-making equipment.
Elmi, Sall and Lisa Paige, 43, of Alexandria are accused of using an altered credit card to buy $240 worth of cigarettes at a Perryville convenience store.
Court records show Paige initially pleaded guilty to federal charges but withdrew her plea May 20. Her case has been continued to Aug. 20 "to accommodate her attorney's maternity leave and allow her sufficient time to prepare for trial," according to court records.
As previously reported by the Southeast Missourian, the three initially faced state charges in Perry County after Perryville police, assisted by federal agents, searched a Perryville motel room where the suspects were staying and found a laptop computer connected to a stripe-card reader and writer and more than 100 counterfeit credit cards that had been created with legitimate cardholders' numbers.
The counterfeit cards were discovered after a Battle Creek, Mich., man contacted police in November to tell them his credit card numbers had been used at a Perryville convenience store, police reported.
Officers discovered the suspects had used a credit card to buy the cigarettes, fuel and more than $1,000 worth of other merchandise at several Perryville businesses, police reported.
Federal prosecutors took up the case after determining the counterfeit credit cards affected interstate commerce.
Sentencing for Elmi and Sall is set for Sept. 23.