A federal search warrant involving fake gas purchases and stolen Ryder Truck credit cards points to the former owner of a Prescott, Ark., convenience store, his former employees and a truck driver.
A warrant giving federal agents permission to scour the contents of two computers seized three years ago from Horizon Food Mart was unsealed this week. The computers have been sitting at the FBI office in Fayetteville, Ark., since they were carried off by agents in June 2012. Horizon Food Mart has since closed.
In April 2012, Ryder Truck contacted authorities about hundreds of thousands in fuel purchases traced back to Horizon. The credit card numbers used were issued to Ryder drivers who were nowhere near Prescott when the transactions were processed. The fake charges began at least in 2009 and continued into 2012.
Charges against two former store clerks and a former Ryder Truck driver have been filed. Sadiq Lakhani was arrested in June 2012. Lakhani told investigators he’d been trained by another Horizon clerk, Jay Patel, to periodically run gas charges using Ryder credit card numbers provided by former Ryder driver Kenneth Luke.
Luke was an independent contractor for Ryder with a route that took him through Prescott. Luke used his cell phone to take a picture of a chalk board on which a list of credit card numbers had been written at a Ryder office in Dallas and provided the numbers to Horizon. Luke was paid half of every phony fuel purchase and Horizon kept the other half.
Lakhani plead guilty to access device fraud last year. He was sentenced to six months in federal prison, six months on home detention and ordered to pay $581,754.88 in restitution at a September hearing in Texarkana’s downtown federal building. Luke, who is free on a $5,000 unsecured bond, plead guilty in March and is awaiting sentencing. He faces up to 15 years in federal prison, a fine up to $250,000, or both. Luke will likely be ordered to pay more than half a million in restitution, as well.
Patel was arrested in March and is currently in custody. Patel’s case is set for a December trial before U.S. District Judge Harry Barnes in the Texarkana division of the Western District of Arkansas.
The search warrant, which was filed Aug. 5 and unsealed Wednesday, seeks to review the Horizon computers for video surveillance files of fraudulent financial transactions and “any and all emails both incoming and outgoing including any attachments.”
|ONE||3/23/12||Comdata Fuel Purchase Transaction||$610.93|
|TWO||3/23/12||Comdata Fuel Purchase Transaction||$675.49|
|THREE||3/23/12||Comdata Fuel Purchase Transaction||$577.06|
|FOUR||3/24/12||Comdata Fuel Purchase Transaction||$694.04|
|FIVE||3/24/12||Comdata Fuel Purchase Transaction||$711.97|
|SIX||3/24/12||Comdata Fuel Purchase Transaction||$638.33|
|SEVEN||3/26/12||Comdata Fuel Purchase Transaction||$707.91|
|EIGHT||3/27/12||Comdata Fuel Purchase Transaction||$691.55|