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Calif. Attorney General: 32 People With Gang Ties Arrested In Connection With Fraud Scheme Across 13 Counties

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) - Authorities have arrested 32 suspected gang members accused of carrying out a fraud scheme that stole $1 million through hacking credit card terminals and merchant accounts at medical and dental businesses.

At a press conference today, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced a 240-count indictment accusing suspected members of the BullyBoys and CoCo Boys gangs of 63 counts of conspiracy to commit grand theft; 54 counts of hacking, computer access and fraud; 56 counts of grand theft; 59 counts of burglary; and eight counts of identity theft.

As a result of the investigation, about 40 stolen credit cart terminals were recovered along with evidence of fraudulent returns, according to a statement from the Attorney General's office. Authorities also seized stolen property such as laptop computers and personal files that contain social security numbers and bank information.

"Street gangs target and intimidate our families and businesses to feed their criminal enterprise," said Becerra. "It takes the collaborative effort of multiple law enforcement agencies to take down criminal gangs. It's indispensable work if we're to reclaim our neighborhoods. Today's announcement serves as a reminder to all business owners to take all necessary precautions to avoid becoming the target of fraud."

The investigation began as a February 2016 after investigators reportedly noticed similarities between incidents of burglaries and credit card schemes that happened in 13 Northern California counties.

The complaint alleges members of the street gangs, which are located in Antioch, Pittsburgh, and other Bay Area locations worked together to burglarize businesses, steal credit card terminals, then use the terminals to process returns. The value of the returns were put on a debit card the alleged then pocketed.

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