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Saturday, July 24, 2021

Bay Area rapper Kafani among group indicted on dozens of new federal fraud charges

OAKLAND — Eighteen months after Bay Area rapper Kafani was charged with an alleged multi-million dollar identity theft scheme, federal prosecutors slapped him with a newly impeached indictment, which included dozens of charges and three new defendants.

Kafani, known as Amir Rashad and Mark Jongo Hicks, was charged with conspiracy, wire fraud, bank fraud, identity theft and money laundering as part of a 48-count indictment against him and six co-defendants. has been applied. According to court records, the allegations stem from the same investigation that led to the charges against Rashad and three others last year.

Rashad, a resident of Oakley and Antioch, is accused of leading a multimillion-dollar identity theft ring that “extracts money from bank accounts via ATM cash withdrawals, to purchase high-end goods.” Store debit, wire transfer for purchases”. gold, and wire-transfers into other bank accounts controlled and opened by the defendants,” prosecutors alleged in court records.

The indictment includes DeMarcus “Smurf” Hicks of Richmond, Dionysius “Donnie” Costello of San Pablo and Leif Scorochod of San Francisco as new defendants, in addition to Rashad’s original alleged co-conspirator: Tyrone Jones of Richmond, In addition to Charging Co, and Escalon residents Susan Arriola-Martin and Christopher Poole.

The indictment lists nine alleged victims who had property stolen through the scheme. In a criminal complaint filed last year, prosecutors accused Rashad of going to great lengths to impersonate some of the victims, including recruiting Arriola-Martin on the grounds that she was posing as an elderly woman. “Grandma” was needed to do.

Appearing in video court on Wednesday afternoon, Scorochod, Areola-Martin, Costello and Rashad all pleaded not guilty. Hicks, who remains at the Santa Rita prison, is set for a custodial hearing on Thursday, court records show.


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