ERAD is an integral part of identifying financial fraud, freezing/seizing assets, and documenting information to support investigations within law enforcement agencies. Below are two case studies in which ERAD provided support to the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office and helped them seize funds from gift cards tied to money laundering operations and identify several hundred counterfeit cards.
On Thursday April 18, 2019, Deputy Josh Carroll initiated a traffic stop for a window tint violation. During the stop, a Narcotics detection K-9 alerted to the odor of narcotics and a search of the vehicle was conducted. Target Gift cards were in the glove box and in the luggage.
Dep. Carroll was able to identify 61 gift cards, still in the packaging. After analyzing the cards with the ERAD system, he identified that they cards were loaded with a total value of $12,900.00.
During an additional traffic stop, June 8, 2020, Sargent Brandon Goldman pulled over a vehicle for following too closely. A consent search of the vehicle was conducted and over 300 counterfeit cards were confiscated along with re-encoding equipment.
After a lengthy investigation, the suspects in the vehicle were successfully indicted in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia.
Detective Howard Fisher of the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office says, “It is my professional opinion that ERAD saves hours, if not days, of investigative time by streamlining the data entry and analysis of the cards in question. Imaging, transferring the data from the magnetic stripe, and manually entering the embossed card information is extremely time consuming and slows the investigation. ERAD makes the data entry easy and then quickly generates reports which help present the card embossed data with the card encoded data in a manner easily explained to those not as familiar with debit/credit cards (judges, district attorneys, juries). In the cases involving gift cards, ERAD made it easy for the investigator to identify the value loaded on the cards and to make the decision to confiscate or not for those involved in the investigation.”