Ten alleged members of the “Felony Lane Gang” have been indicted by a Harrisburg grand jury for identity theft and fraud. The “Felony Lane Gang” is a group based primarily in South Florida that allegedly travels across the United States stealing identities and checkbooks from unattended cars (“smash and grabs”) and thereafter uses the drive through lane of banks (“felony lane”) to make fraudulent transactions with the stolen identity information.
The grand jury returned a four count indictment yesterday charging 10 people with conspiracy to commit fraud, bank fraud, wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft. The individuals
indicted are: Travis J. Russ, age 30, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Sylvester Joseph, age 26, of Derrfield, Florida; Jarrett Hobbs, age 31, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Khiante Thompson, age
20, Florida; Phillip Etienne, age 31, of Margate, Florida; Willie L. Ogiste, age 35, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Teresa L. Brimhall, age 45, of Oakland Park, Florida; April Ainsworth, age
26, of Richmond, Texas; Colleen Shelly, age 49, of Lauderdale Lakes, Florida; and Wendy Snyder-Lucas, age 31, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
These suspects are believed to have struck in Pennsylvania from August to October 2012. During that time, they allegedly broke into and/or stole the identities of over 100
people. In addition, the group allegedly targeted state parks where victims left purses, wallets, and checkbooks in their cars while using the recreation facilities. The “smash and grabs”
occurred at approximately 25 different state parks and recreation centers in and around the Middle District of Pennsylvania.
This group allegedly used stolen checks and identification to obtain funds from banks and credit unions. According to the indictment, a conspirator, disguised as the account holder, used
the drive-through lane at the account holder’s bank, submitted to the teller a forged check with the stolen identification of the victim, on numerous occasions, and received the funds. Through this process, these conspirators successfully compromised numerous accounts and stole tens of thousands of dollars in funds from the victims.
This investigation was conducted by the United States Department of Homeland Security Investigations, the United States Secret Service, the Pennsylvania State Police, the Pennsylvania
Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and other state and local investigative agencies. The prosecutor assigned to the case is Assistant United States Attorney Michael A. Consiglio.
The accused face a maximum of 30 years in prison.