He was indicted Tuesday on charges of conspiracy to commit access device fraud and access device fraud. Edwards is being held without bond in federal custody. He also faces state charges related to the scheme. His attorney declined to comment.
Edwards used Facebook messages to communicate with his clients, according to court records. His indictment said he also got stolen credit card numbers from “chat rooms” and “other means.” The scheme began in April 2018, according to the indictment.
Edwards is not the first to come up with the hotel rental idea.
A Chicago rapper was busted for the same thing last year. Police say Kyle Taylor, known as Stunt Taylor, used social media to rent out rooms at the pricey Waldorf Astoria hotel that he booked with a stolen credit card. The 27-year-old charged almost $7,000 to the card before hotel staff caught on, prosecutors said. Taylor advertised the rooms on Instagram and Twitter, officials there said.
The dark web has become the marketplace of choice for hackers and other cybercriminals seeking to sell stolen data such as social security and credit card numbers. But one can pretty much buy anything, there including drugs and child pornography. The encrypted network lies outside the reach of traditional search engines and internet browsers.
Staff of the Hampton Inn in Colleyville checked Edwards into the hotel on Aug. 22, according to court records.
At the time, he was free on bond and awaiting trial on a credit card abuse charge out of Lewisville stemming from a June 2018 arrest, court records said.
His presence at the hotel did not go unnoticed.
“Throughout the evening… multiple people had purchased numerous food items and placed them on the room account in the name of ‘Odis Edwards,’” a U.S. Secret Service complaint said.
When a hotel employee asked some of those people about the charges, all of them left the hotel without collecting items left in their rooms, the complaint said.
Inside one of the rooms was a backpack with assorted credit cards inside, some of which had been altered, as well as a notebook that contained handwritten credit card numbers, the complaint said. A small Dremel tool used to grind things down was nearby. Authorities also found notebooks referencing websites with words such as “darkcoding” and “credit card generator,” according to the complaint.
Eight days later, similar goings-on were reported to police from the Holiday Inn in Trophy Club.
Edwards had rented two rooms there for two nights, the complaint said.
“The Holiday Inn manager communicated that he deemed the activity suspicious because of the number and volume of incidental purchases charged to the rooms,” the complaint said.