An up-and-coming New York rapper with a large social media following has been indicted by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office along with five other people involved in a "card-cracking" ring that would forge checks, Gothamist reports. The rapper, Young Ash, whose real name is Ashley Bautista, is accused of using her social media platform to lure new recruits. In total, the group deposited at least 52 fake checks and made a total of $62,500. They face charges of grand larceny, identity theft, and fraud.
Between August and September 2017, Gabriel Molina, 32, would photograph rent checks he would receive in his position as a concierge at an Upper West Side apartment building. He would send the photos to Fraylius Henriquez, 23, who would use them to forge checks. The D.A.’s office found a laptop with check-manufacturing software and bank check stock in Molina’s apartment.
Bautista, 22, used her Snapchat to post ads that offered people money if they handed over their ATM cards and bank accounts. Justin Simon, 22, and Jarod Bailey, 21, as well as a third person known as JD Glasses, were "runners," who would pick up the ATM cards from people who were lured by the posts. The forged checks would be deposited into these accounts by Molina, Henriquez, and others involved in the scheme, and eventually withdrawn.
In a statement, D.A. Cy Vance specifically denounced "'card cracking' scammers with large followings on Snapchat and other platforms" who lure "people into their schemes by showing off designer merchandise, luxury cars, and stacks of cash." Of course, he continued by asserting that these schemes are illegal scams. "Those who coordinate and participate in them may find themselves facing criminal charges like the ones contained in today’s indictment," Vance added.
The New York Post added that Bautista pleaded not guilty to grand larceny. She has been released without bail.