Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the sentencing of a former food service employee, NIGEL McCOLLUM, 23, to 1 1/3 to 4 years in state prison for skimming patrons’ credit card numbers and using the information to forge hundreds of cards in the defendant’s name. On March 12, 2014, McCOLLUM pleaded guilty in New York State Supreme Court to all the charges in the indictment against him, including Identity Theft in the First Degree, Forgery in the Second Degree, Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree, Criminal Possession of Forgery Devices, and Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, among other charges.
“Victims of identity theft often have no clue that cybercriminals are stealing their personal information – information that can be used to make counterfeit credit cards, fraudulently open accounts, and withdraw money from victims’ bank accounts,” said District Attorney Vance. “Identity theft and cybercrime are pervasive and my Office is attacking the problem head-on; today’s prison sentence is indicative of the seriousness with which we take this crime. Consumers should take steps to protect themselves against fraud, such as vigilantly monitoring their credit statements. I would also like to encourage anyone who believes that he or she may have been the victim of identity theft to call my Office’s Cybercrime and Identity Theft Hotline at 212-335-9600.”
As admitted by the defendant in his guilty plea, McCOLLUM was employed at a Pret A Manger location in Chelsea and, over a period of several months, recruited staff members to skim the credit card numbers of more than 100 customers. A search warrant executed at the defendant’s apartment yielded, among other things, two card skimmers, four computers, two encoding devices, an embosser, stacks of blank cards, and hundreds of forged credit cards in McCOLLUM’s name. The defendant used the forged cards to make personal purchases, including gift cards and expensive accessories.
Assistant District Attorney David Neeman and Assistant District Attorney Kenn Kern, Chief of Staff of the Investigation Division, handled the prosecution of the case, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Brenda Fischer, Chief of the Cybercrime and Identity Theft Bureau, and Executive Assistant District Attorney David M. Szuchman, Chief of the Investigation Division. Assistant District Attorney Jeremy Glickman, Deputy Chief of the Cybercrime and Identity Theft Bureau, Assistant District Attorney Emilio Estela, Deputy Chief of Trial Bureau 70, and Assistant District Attorney Michael Sachs, Bureau Chief of the Special Prosecutions Bureau, also assisted with the case. Cybercrime Analyst Mireilly Meiss provided additional assistance.
District Attorney Vance thanked Detective John Munari of the NYPD Financial Crimes Task Force, Police Officer James Lilla of the Patrol Borough Manhattan North Street Crime Unit, American Express Corporation, and Pret A Manger for their cooperation and assistance with the investigation.
NIGEL McCOLLUM, D.O.B. 11/3/1990
New York, NY