Former DeKalb County Sergeant sentenced for possessing equipment to make fraudulent credit cards and ID’s | USAO-NDGA

ATLANTA – Claude Goines has been sentenced to prison for running a fake credit card and ID lab.  Goines operated a carding lab where he manufactured fraudulent credit cards and driver’s licenses while he was on a work release program related to an earlier fraud conviction.

“Identity theft and credit card fraud has become an all too common problem,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Bobby L. Christine.  “The actions of thieves like Goines can severely damage citizens’ lives and credit.  In some cases, it can take years to repair.  We encourage all citizens to monitor their credit for any suspicious activity, and if they find any, to contact law enforcement immediately.” 

“It is clear that Goines was determined to continue to hurt citizens by stealing their identities to line his own pockets,” said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “Particularly disturbing is the fact that he is a former law enforcement officer sworn to protect citizens.”

“This sentencing should send the message, to other identity thieves and fraudsters, that crime doesn’t pay. This type of crime has quickly become a serious threat to our communities because of how much damage they can do so quickly,” said Special Agent in Charge Katrina W. Berger, who oversees Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) operations in Georgia and Alabama. “Goines, a repeat offender and former member of law enforcement, thought he could get away with his crimes and prosper, but thanks to the hard work and vigilance of HSI and its law enforcement partners he was wrong.”

“Unfortunately, some people have a difficult time breaking their cycle of criminal behavior,” said U.S. Secret Service Special Agent in Charge Steve Baisel.  “Goines, and others like him, seem to find the lure of victimizing others greater than the potential consequences of their actions. We will not stop our efforts to bring to justice those who prey on others.”

According to U.S. Attorney Christine, the charges and other information presented in court: Claude Goines is a former detention officer at the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office in Decatur, Georgia, where he rose to the rank of sergeant.  While he was on a work release program related to an earlier fraud conviction, Goines operated a carding lab where he manufactured fraudulent credit cards and driver’s licenses. 

When federal agents executed a search of the lab, Goines was present while counterfeit cards were being produced.  The lab contained multiple laptops, USB storage devices, cell phones, printers, blank card stock, security holograms for driver’s licenses of several U.S. states, two handguns, and other related items.  Goines imported fraudulent holograms to be used with the fake Georgia driver’s licenses he produced. 

Claude Goines, 35, of Lilburn, Georgia, has been sentenced to two years, six months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release.  Goines was convicted on these charges on October 28, 2020, after he pleaded guilty to charges of access device fraud and possession of device-making equipment.

This case was investigated by the U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, and Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Huber, Deputy Chief of the Complex Frauds Section, prosecuted the case.

For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016.  The Internet address for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga.

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