Seven metro Atlanta residents are facing charges of theft, fraud, and racketeering charges for allegedly selling counterfeit MARTA Breeze cards, according to Creative Loafing Atlanta.
MARTA Police identified seven suspects, so far, tied to the alleged Breeze card scheme – ranging from ages 22 to 46 . MARTA did not specify the amounts that were added to the cards. The transit agency says the group purchased several Breeze cards for $1 each, and then bypassed the card’s security features to boost the card values. Cubic Corp., which provides the Breeze card system, was not releasing how the cards were hacked.
“MARTA and Cubic are working together to identify and hotlist any additional fraudulent cards,” says a Cubic spokesperson. “There are other options such as making the encryption on the card stronger or possibly using a different card media that has better encryption security that are being considered at this time.”
The transit agency launched the investigation after a MARTA revenue department employee earlier this month noticed signs of fraudulent activity coming from a handful of fare cards issued from the Chamblee MARTA station’s vending machines.
Five suspects – Pierre Metteaux, Jedadia Byda, Melvin Summers Jr., Christine Carney, and Stephanie Finger – were arrested and charged with financial transaction card fraud and racketeering. Two other accomplices, Brenda Small and Michaell Dallas, were later taken into custody and charged with one count each of racketeering.