Walnut Creek Resident, Four Others Arrested for Allegedly Running Counterfeit Credit Card Operation

April 8, 2014 12:30 pm · 20 comments

Five Bay Area residents were arrested Saturday for theft using fraudulent credit cards, the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office said.

The fake cards contained numbers from legitimate credit cards but a false name or the name taken from a stolen driver’s license, sheriff’s Sgt. Mike Raasch said.

Two of the suspects tried to get cash from an ATM machine at the Graton Resort and Casino with a fraudulent credit card over the weekend, Lt. Steve Brown said.

Three of the suspects, however, were able to get several thousands of dollars from the ATM machines, Sgt. Mike Raasch said.

A sheriff’s deputy who contacted one of the suspects at the casino later discovered that an elaborate counterfeit credit card operation was taking place in a Rohnert Park hotel room, Brown said.

The suspects began their stay at the hotel on Friday and used a counterfeit credit card to rent the room, Raasch said.

Sheriff’s detectives found several stolen credit cards in different names, cash, a credit card reader, laptop computers and several blank credit cards in the hotel room, Brown said.

Detectives also found methamphetamine and smoking paraphernalia in the hotel room.

The suspects were making the false credit cards and using them at the nearby casino operated by the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria and at several other businesses, Brown said.

Three Mercedes Benz vehicles were also located in connection with the suspects, Brown said.

One car was found at the casino and two were in the hotel parking lot. Two of the cars were stolen and one belonged to one of the suspects, Raasch said.

The suspects stole the two vehicles by renting the cars with false credit cards and failing to return the vehicles, Brown said.

The suspects are Walnut Creek resident Jhona Matthews, 33, Hayward resident Zephyr Carter, 41, and San Francisco residents Michael Anger, 32, Robert Serrato, 37, and Nicole Dunlap, 30.

They were arrested on charges including forgery, theft of credit card information, altering credit card information, manufacturing false identification documents, burglary, conspiracy, vehicle theft and possession of drugs and stolen vehicles.

Sheriff’s detectives are trying to identify other victims of the operation, Brown said.

Anon April 8, 2014 at 12:40 PM

Got to love the Mercedes (3) & the Meth…who said that dope is a victim less crime?? Bet they started off on Pot in Junior High — sure-lets make it legal .no harm for the next generation……….

wait... April 8, 2014 at 1:01 PM

There isn’t a single real estate agent among ’em? weird.

MrDioji April 8, 2014 at 1:07 PM

Anon, your logic is flawed. Maybe if pot was legal, people wouldn’t require access to the black market which opens doors for other substances. Also, it still wouldn’t be legal for Junior High students…

Anyway, my wife and I both had counterfeit cards made of our CC numbers a few months ago. Maybe these were the guys… Glad they got ’em.

Claytonian April 8, 2014 at 1:17 PM

Wow – Jhona gets around. Google her and see what pops up. Here is a sample “Administrative assistant Jhona Mathews, 33, has been accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from the National Shrine of St. Francis of Assisi. She is also accusing her boss, William McLaughlin, who is in his 60s, paddled her in the sanctuary”

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/spanking-scandal-erupts-san-francisco-church-article-1.1529237#ixzz2yKOBBLlL

The Realist April 8, 2014 at 1:21 PM

OFF with their hands!

Beacon April 8, 2014 at 1:50 PM

Why is the common denominator always drugs?

Anon April 8, 2014 at 1:58 PM

“Also, it still wouldn’t be legal for Junior High students…”


“She is also accusing her boss, William McLaughlin, who is in his 60s, paddled her in the sanctuary””

Seems she deserved more than that.

The National Shrine of St. Francis of Assisi has been hit by allegations its administrative assistant Jhona Mathews, 33, stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from the church.

:Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/spanking-scandal-erupts-san-francisco-church-article-1.1529237#ixzz2yKYKHDb8:

“The National Shrine of St. Francis of Assisi has been hit by allegations its administrative assistant Jhona Mathews, 33, stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from the church.”

What types of idiots allow this to happen ??
Did she have access to the checks?
Did they do an accounting each month ?
They deserve whatever they get.

haha April 8, 2014 at 2:06 PM

Google image search “Jhona Mathews”. The first image result on the upper left leads me to believe that she was just a pure, innocent employee of the Diocese. Poor girl, was probably bullied into credit card theft with other cranksters.

Anon #1 April 8, 2014 at 2:34 PM

Let’s get real. They probably started with a beer stolen from their parents fridge.

Dorothy April 8, 2014 at 3:16 PM

It’s scary. The news last night said they were making the fake cards using real cc numbers. Glad someone got suspicious of the fake cards.

Jojo Potato April 8, 2014 at 3:43 PM

The hotel guy when interviewed on TV this morning said they had 3 credit cards rejected before one worked. This was when checking in. And the hotel clerk didn’t get suspicious? Should have been paying attention at least a little bit. And by the way casinos are not a magnet for crime, right?

J. April 8, 2014 at 3:55 PM
Anon April 8, 2014 at 3:58 PM

“Let’s get real. They probably started with a beer stolen from their parents fridge.”

You got to start somewhere…now don’t you

Drugs are the downfall of this country.

When your kid/Mother/etc is killed by a pot smoking person texting like what happened last week–then tell me how drugs are not an issue or just keep your head in the sand & keep smoking

Jhona employment April 8, 2014 at 3:59 PM

Her linkd in account says she works at a carpet place in San Rafael. I’m sure she had access to customers’ names, addresses, phone numbers snd credit card info. Kind of scary to think about all the kinds of people that have access to thst kind if info in their employment as well. Especially medical and dental techs….so much info that could make them so much more money than they earn at their lower end jobs.

Pat April 8, 2014 at 4:16 PM

Love the headline: “Allegedly” These MF’s (Master Forgers) were Caught Red Handed!! Let’s walk on eggshells to protect the guilty!! I’m for “Punishment fits the crime”! Prison & make “Plates” (License plates) for a few years!

Jhona April 8, 2014 at 5:58 PM

Is a bad, bad girl. She’s an attractive woman, I just don’t get the crime and meth. Anyone that does that ends up looking like a goblin, usually riding a bicycle prowling neighborhoods for crimes of opportunity.

gratt April 8, 2014 at 7:48 PM

criminals are such dumb a–es when they get caught, they never think the crime through

Walnut Creek Resident April 8, 2014 at 10:29 PM

Good catch. Hope they get in big trouble.

seriously! April 10, 2014 at 6:23 PM

from KTVU:

Suspect charged with child endangerment after girl found alone in car

A counterfeit credit card ring suspect was arrested Thursday morning on suspicion of child endangerment after she allegedly left her 3-year-old daughter alone in her locked car while she was arraigned in court, the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office said.

Jhona Matthews, 33, of Walnut Creek was among five San Francisco and East Bay residents who were arrested Saturday for allegedly making counterfeit credit cards in a Rohnert Park hotel room and using them at the nearby Graton Resort and Casino.

At her arraignment this morning in Sonoma County Superior Court, her bail was raised to $50,000 and she was taken into custody, sheriff’s Sgt. Mike Raasch said.

When Matthews told the judge she left her 3-year-old daughter unattended in her locked car, sheriff’s deputies found the vehicle on the south side of the courthouse, Raasch said.

They woke up the child, who was sleeping in the back seat, and persuaded her to unlock the car door, Raasch said. Deputies then found three capped hypodermic needles containing suspected methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia and a notebook with numerous credit card numbers, Raasch said.

Matthews was booked in the county jail for felony child endangerment, possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia and a probation violation, Raasch said. She is now being held under no bail in the jail.

Matthews’ daughter was turned over to Child Protective Services.

Sheriff’s detectives learned Matthews was on misdemeanor probation in Marin County for credit card fraud, Raasch said.

She and four other alleged counterfeit credit card ring suspects were arrested last week on forgery, theft, burglary, and drug charges.

Michelle April 10, 2014 at 8:16 PM

That is just sad!

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