Woman sentenced in DuPage for European ID theft ring
BY BILL BIRD firstname.lastname@example.org December 27, 2012 5:40PM
Head, Shanekie D 08/12/1984 Scottsdale, Georgia On Monday, October 15, 2012 at approximately 1:00 p.m., the Naperville Police Department became aware of an international fraud group operating out of the Naperville area. Seven offenders from Georgia were identified and arrested. This group is part of a larger crime group operating out of Eastern Europe. The investigation revealed this criminal group was posting fictitious listings on Craig’s List to commit fraud. Over 50 fraudulent money/wire transfers were identified, 62 counterfeit identification cards, and numerous passports were recovered. In addition, investigators located a makeshift lab containing computers, specialized printers, and fake documents which were used to manufacture counterfeit identification.
Updated: January 29, 2013 6:29AM
The first of seven people Naperville police believe were working for an identity theft ring based in eastern Europe has been sentenced to six months in jail.
Shanekie D. Head, 28, of Scottsdale, Ga., remains in DuPage County Jail in Wheaton, after pleading guilty to a felony charge of participating in a continuing financial crimes enterprise. Records on file in DuPage County Court indicate two identical counts — as well as charges of conspiracy to commit a financial crime, conspiracy to commit money laundering and possession of a fraudulent driver’s license — were dismissed in exchange for her plea.
Besides the six-month sentence, Judge Daniel P. Guerin also placed Head on four years of probation, according to records.
On Oct. 15, Naperville police arrested Head and six associates after they had set up a “laboratory” in a hotel room on the city’s north side. The lab contained computers, specialized printers and phony documents that were allegedly used to make counterfeit identification, police said in October.
More than 50 fraudulent money transfers were allegedly made by Head and her associates. Police also recovered 62 counterfeit identification cards and numerous forged passports.
Cmdr. Brian Cunningham, who oversees the department’s investigations unit, said the suspects used “multiple” hotels when scamming their victims, who reportedly included dozens of people from the Naperville area.
Cunningham labeled the suspects a “traveling crime group” working for organized crime in the Eastern European bloc. He would not say where, specifically, that crime ring is headquartered.
While it is common for criminals to target potential identity theft victims via CraigsList and similar websites, Cunningham said Head and the others were undone by an alert Naperville police officer.
The officer was working near the hotel where the group was operating and “noticed suspicious activity” one day by one of the suspects, Cunningham said. That, in turn, sparked the police investigation and led to the arrests, he said.
Head’s alleged accomplices include Sierra S. Chambers, 25, of Decatur, Ga.; Jacqueline C. Gibson, 46, also of Decatur, Ga., and her husband, Rickey L. Gibson, 44, of Atlanta; Decopeland S. Harris, 41, of Conley, Ga.; Alicia Y. Jordan, 38, of Clarkston, Ga.; and Darrick L. Jordan, 23, of Decatur, Ga. The cases against them are pending.
Cunningham said he was not certain how seven people from Georgia ended up operating in Naperville.