Three Summerville men are accused of being involved in an international scheme that used stolen information to get money and goods shipped to South Africa and Nigeria, according to court records.
William Scott Thomas, 39, Randolph Willis, 47, and Santwain Bryant, 33, were arrested Tuesday by federal authorities and are detained at the Al Cannon Detention Center.
The trio is accused of taking part in the alleged conspiracy involving 16 people from other states and other countries, court records stated.
A group called the Yahoo Boys, a West African gang, would buy bank account information from hackers, steal money and then send cash or goods to Africa, according to court filings.
Court documents have not alleged a total amount taken by the ring.
The Lowcountry trio began their involvement in January 2012, according to their indictment. They bought and shared personal identification data from individuals on the internet, the indictment stated.
They stole credit card and other financial information to obtain duplicate credit cards and would use the stolen information to withdraw cash from bank accounts in the Lowcountry and to purchase items in Charleston, according to the indictment.
Those items included ceramic tile, mortar and grout from a North Charleston Lowe's, an iPad from Wal-Mart and a laptop from Best Buy, the indictment stated.
The three men are expected to appear before a federal judge in Charleston Thursday for a detention hearing.
They pleaded not guilty during an arraignment hearing Tuesday.
Arrests have been made in South Africa, Canada, California, Wisconsin, Indiana, New York, Georgia and South Carolina.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Reach Natalie Caula Hauff at 937-5594 or Twitter.com/ncaula.
Notice about comments: