Leader of credit-card scheme at Crossgates sentenced

Jamal Linton

GUILDERLAND — Jamal Linton, whom police call the ringleader in a counterfeit credit-card scheme at Crossgates Mall in Guilderland, was sentenced on July 5 to one-and-a-third to four years in state prison.

Linton, 28, of Brooklyn, appeared in Albany County Court before Judge Peter Lynch.

On May 5, he had been found guilty of seven counts of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, all felonies, and one count of fifth-degree conspiracy, a misdemeanor.

The jury, according to a press release from the Albany County District Attorney’s Office, found that on Oct. 17, 2015, at about 4:24 p.m., Linton conspired with three co-defendants to use counterfeit credit cards to purchase approximately $10,000 worth of gift cards and merchandise from Lord & Taylor at Crossgates Mall.

The same group was already being investigated regarding two similar incidents that occurred at the same Lord & Taylor in October, involving the use of counterfeit credit cards to purchase over $20,000 in gift cards in merchandise.

On each occasion, Linton supplied the credit cards and waited in a car in the mall’s parking lot as the co-defendants, who were observed by a security camera in the store, purchased the gift cards and merchandise, the release said.

The Guilderland Police Department was notified and responded to the scene, the release said, initiating a traffic stop as Linton’s car was leaving the Lord & Taylor parking lot. The counterfeit credit cards and gift cards were ultimately recovered in a secret compartment inside the passenger seat of the vehicle.

Assistant District Attorney Shadi Masri of the Financial Crimes Unit prosecuted this case.

— Melissa Hale-Spencer

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