Crime & Courts

Man charged in alleged identity fraud at airport

A federal grand jury has indicted a New York man who first came under suspicion at the Columbia Metropolitan Airport for unlawful possession of a credit card skimmer, credit card fraud and aggravated identity theft.

An indictment issued in Columbia charges that Khalid Jamal Sumbry, age 27, of Brooklyn, New York, attempted to fly out of the Columbia Metropolitan Airport on Feb. 5 on an airline ticket he purchased under the name of Kimeth Allen.

Before he was able to board the plane, airline officials discovered that the credit card used to purchase the ticket had been reported stolen. After officials denied Sumbry permission to board the plane, he quickly left the airport without claiming baggage that had been checked for the flight, said acting U.S. Attorney for South Carolina Kevin McDonald.

Transportation Safety Administration officials searched the baggage and found a credit card skimming device. This is a small, hand-held electronic reader that can be used to record the electronically encoded information from the black, magnetic stripe on the back of credit and debit cards. Secret Service agents located and arrested Sumbry in the Columbia area five days later.

The maximum penalty Sumbry could receive on the skimmer charge is a fine of $250,000 and imprisonment of 15 years. On the credit card fraud charge, he faces a fine of $250,000 and imprisonment of ten years. On the aggravated identity theft charge, he faces a mandatory sentence of two years that must run consecutive to any other penalty, as well as a $250,000 fine.

Assistant United States Attorney Dean A. Eichelberger of the Columbia office will prosecute the case.

John Monk