A singing star from another continent comes to town and, on the way out, gets arrested for fraud before boarding a private charter jet.
Welcome to Miami, Dammy Krane.
The Nigerian pop star (actual name Oyindamola Emmanuel Johnson-Hunga) faces seven counts of credit card fraud, one count of grand theft and one count of fraudulent identification possession after he and pal Chukwuebuka Gabriel Ilochonwu got cuffed at Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport June 1.
In Krane’s possession at the time of the arrest, according to the police report, were seven credit cards — three in his name, four bearing the name “William Payton III,” and none in which the numbers on the fronts of the cards matched the numbers on the embossed strips.
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Krane is accused of using a fraudulent card to buy the tickets. After not getting on a plane with his friend, Ilochonwu threw him under the bus. He told police Krane bought the tickets. That left Ilochonwu, 26, facing only grand theft charges from this arrest, but he’s still a guest of the county jail.
When arrested, he was out on bond while his April case on credit card fraud, grand theft and fraudulent ID possession charges goes through the legal system.
Krane, a Baltimore resident, posted $22,500 bond after pleading not guilty in court and on Twitter.
“I do not do fraud,” the 23-year-old said in the Twitter video. “I do not participate in such things. An agent booked my flight with fraudulent cards.”
Police say TapJets CEO Eugene Kesselman called them after smelling something funky with an attempted ticket purchase earlier June 1. Someone using the private jet booking company’s phone application established an account in the name “Gabriel Ilochonwu” and tried to buy a charter flight using a fake American Express card. Same cell phone, same kind of attempted buy-by-fraud as happened on March 24, according to the TapJets system.
When that Amex card got rejected, Kesselman said, the same cell phone created a second account under “Emmanuel Johnson.” The second try at a buy went through for $10,943.01. But when TapJets checked with the banks issuing the cards, the arrest report said, the banks said none of the cards were issued under any of the names used by Krane or Ilochonwu.
A TapJets employee told police she fielded a phone call from an “Emmanuel Johnson” who wanted to make sure that the jet he reserved would actually be there. She said the caller asked if there was a problem with the credit card used for the reservation. Aware of the fraud, but wanting to keep the caller in the dark, she said there wasn’t a problem, but he could leave another card if he wanted.
The caller left two credit card numbers and e-mailed a third, completing the hat trick of fraudulent numbers, according to the report. TapJets called police, who waited at Opa Locka airport for Krane and Ilochonwu to arrive for their flight.
Post-arrest, police claim, Krane gave permission to search his Samsung Galaxy 7 phone. Police say they found the TapJets app and saved on that app was the Amex card rejected earlier in the day.