(Updated) AG: Head of Downtown Crossing crime ring arrested

boston crime tape

 

The alleged leader of an “extensive criminal enterprise” in Downtown Crossing was arrested Thursday in an undercover operation by local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, authorities said.

During a news conference Thursday afternoon, Attorney General Martha Coakley said that the scheme involves stolen and fraudulent identities, phony credit cards and the reselling of smartphones. 

Shahab “David” Yousheei, 36, of Brighton, faces multiple charges including identity theft, illegal possession of a credit card encoder and making purchases with a false credit card. He was arrested after buying counterfeit money, authorities said.

Coakely said Yousheei, who operated a kiosk at 449 Washington St., used stolen identities to open mobile phone accounts and pay runners to buy discounted smartphones who then returned them to him so he could sell them at a higher price from his Downtown Crossing shop. He also allegedly created phony credit cards using real numbers and stolen or made up names. He would then allegedly use an encoder that would allow the cards to appear legitimate when making a purchase.

“In many ways this case illustrates the new face of crime, one that uses computers as weapon of choice and one that robs people of their identities instead of their possessions,” Coakley said, adding that the investigation included “extensive” undercover work and started in August.

Coakley urged anyone who made a purchase from the shop to immediately check their credit report. Because of the way the alleged scheme worked, a fraudulent purchase may not show up on a credit card statement, but would on a credit report.

Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis said that local officers were also investigating allegations that Yousheei was buying stolen jewelry at his store, melting it down and selling it.

“Today is a good day,” Davis said.

Coakley estimated that the operation netted tens of thousands of dollars, but that the total was likely higher.

More arrests and charges are expected, authorities said.

Follow Michael Naughton on Twitter @metrobosmike.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Woman dies when run over by bus at…

A woman at the Burning Man arts and culture festival in the Nevada desert died on Thursday when she was run over by a bus carrying participants.

National

Texas parents sue day care center for duct…

By Marice RichterDALLAS (Reuters) - A Texas couple has filed a lawsuit against the owners of a Fort Worth-area day care center seeking $1 million…

National

Santa Fe city council votes to decriminalize marijuana

By Joseph KolbALBUQUERQUE N.M. (Reuters) - Santa Fe on Wednesday became the latest U.S. city to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana, with lawmakers in the…

International

Egypt queries Mursi over documents "leaked" to Al…

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt is investigating jailed ex-president Mohamed Mursi in connection with documents that judicial investigators say were leaked to the Qatar-based Al Jazeera…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…