East Moline police have arrested four people — three from the Chicago area and one from Atlanta — in connection with a fraudulent credit card scheme in the Quad-Cities.

Jerame Moore, 26, Felicia Jackson, 26, both of Chicago, along with Mercedes Brown, 22, of Calumet City, and Shaun Smith, 33, of Atlanta, each are charged with one count of possession of counterfeit credit cards and one count of theft.

Each of the charges is a Class 3 felony under Illinois law that carries a prison sentence of two to five years.

East Moline Police Lt. Darren Gault said in a news release Thursday that the investigation began Dec. 16 when Walgreens loss prevention officers alerted area stores and law enforcement that a group of people had been using fraudulent credit cards to purchase Visa gift cards at area Walgreens stores.

At 4:20 p.m. Tuesday, Christmas eve, an employee of Walgreens in East Moline called police with a report of a group of people inside the store attempting to use fraudulent credit cards to buy Visa gift cards, Gault said. 

East Moline patrol officers were able to stop the four people in a car as they were leaving the store.

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During a search of the vehicle, officers seized more than 65 fraudulent credit cards, Gault said. 

The scheme also involved numerous stolen credit card numbers that had been encoded on fraudulently manufactured Rush Card Live and Green Dot credit cards.

The Visa gift cards purchased with the fraudulent credit cards were then sold on the streets in Chicago.

The investigation is continuing to find victims of financial identity theft in connection with the case.

According to the Rock Island County Jail, Brown, Smith and Jackson were being held Thursday night on $75,000 bond each. Moore, who also was being held on $75,000 bond, was able to post the required 10 percent to be released from custody pending trial.

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