Stolen Credit Card Used By Teen To Rent $240,00 Sportscar, $12 Million Vacation Estate
If you’ve ever had your credit card stolen, here’s one more reason to cancel the card immediately. And that means, right away. Especially if your card has a very high limit. A 19-year-old former high school basketball star was busted in Santa Rosa, California, on Wednesday for using a stolen credit card. And boy, did he ever use it.
Mohannad Halaweh of Rohnert Park, a former basketball standout at a local high school, was pulled over by Sonoma County Sheriff’s deputies in what they thought was a stolen car — a 2012 McLaren sportscar valued at $240,000.
But when they checked, they found that Halaweh had actually rented the vehicle from an outlet in San Jose. The rental fee: $13,000.
How was Halaweh able to afford the bright orange McLaren, even on a credit card? Simple. The card wasn’t his. According to police, he stole it, or obtained the card by some other fraudulent means.
But the snazzy car wasn’t all that Halaweh rented with the stolen card, the sheriff’s deputies say. The teen also paid a $27,000 rental fee on a luxury vacation estate in Glen Ellen — a home worth $12 million.
Investigators are now trying to figure out how the former hoops hero managed to pull off this apparently extravagant credit card scam.
Amazingly, Halaweh was on his way back from a court date on an earlier charge of credit card fraud when the deputies pulled him over in the high-end sportscar. In March, the teen was arrested in Berkeley, California after he tried to use a phony Visa card for a $10,000 shopping spree at an Apple store in Berkeley’s popular Fourth Street shopping district.
Using the bogus credit card, Halaweh is charged with trying to purchase 14 iPhones and two MacBook Air laptop computers. Police in Berkeley said that he originally resisted arrest, fighting with officers. But then he gave up and even waived his Miranda right not to answer questions, confessing to using the fake credit card along with a phony New York driver’s license.
At that time, Halaweh was released on $85,000 bail to await his next court appearance. But it now appears that as soon as he was free, he returned to his fraudulent credit card ways.
Halaweh was arrested in Santa Rosa Wednesday without incident. A passenger in the sportscar, Nhimia Kahsay, also 19, was arrested on outstanding fraud warrants.
Halaweh was being held on $100,000 bail this time, facing charges of using a stolen credit card and possessing stolen property.
[Image: Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department]