Five Bay Area residents have been arrested in El Dorado County, accused of being part of a counterfeit credit card ring.
Sheriff’s deputies went to Red Hawk Casino in Shingle Springs about 1 p.m. Thursday regarding a report of fraudulent use of a credit card. Casino security personnel reported that a man and woman attempted to use forged or stolen credit cards to get cash. Deputies learned that the man had left, but security employees identified him as Edmundo Gomez Ruiz, who was last seen accompanied by another man in a silver BMW, according to an El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office news release.
Deputies contacted the woman, who identified herself as 24-year-old Jasiah Paulinedeann Girtman of San Rafael. Deputies found that Girtman had credit cards in her name and several other people’s names. She was arrested on suspicion of possessing forged credit cards and possessing narcotics paraphernalia.
Security employees notified deputies that a black Ford Explorer associated with Girtman was still parked at the casino. Inside the vehicle, deputies said, they found 43-year-old Aaron Dade of San Francisco with forged credit cards and cash. Deputies arrested him on suspicion of using illegal credit cards.
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Both Dade and Girtman were booked into El Dorado County jail, and Dade’s bail was enhanced because of felony convictions, sheriff’s officials said.
Deputies found information that led them to believe more people were involved and might be staying at the Motel 6 in Cameron Park. While monitorin a room at the motel, they contacted a woman who identified herself as 39-year-old Alison Hash of San Francisco. In the motel parking lot, they noticed a silver BMW with two men inside.
The occupants of the BMW were identified as Morteza Hossein Ghezavat, 37, of Millbrae and Edmundo Gomez Ruiz, 52, of Richmond. Sheriff’s officials said Gomez Ruiz was the man who left Red Hawk Casino before deputies arrived.
Deputies found more credit cards, debit cards and gift cards in the BMW, officials said. Deputies also found up to 200 four-digit number sequences that could be imprinted on blank cards and a machine that manufactures credit cards.
Ghezavat was arrested on suspicion of possessing the replica credit cards and because of seven warrants for his arrest in the Bay Area. Gomez Ruiz was arrested on suspicion of intent to defraud. Both were booked into El Dorado County jail.
In the motel room, deputies found evidence of manufacturing credit cards. Hash, whom deputies had spoken to outside the room, was arrested on suspicion of using another person’s identity to get illegal credit and on a felony arrest warrant out of Sacramento County. She also had a machine to make credit cards, a machine used to copy credit card numbers onto a magnetic strip, blank credit cards and numbers, and other items used to make fake credit cards, sheriff’s officials said.
Hash was booked into El Dorado County jail, and her bail was enhanced due to felony convictions.
Sheriff’s officials estimated that the group had hundreds of stolen credit card numbers.
Call The Bee’s Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.