SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Rob Bonta today announced the sentencing of 29 individuals associated with criminal street gangs throughout California known as the Bully Boys and the CoCo Boys. The gangs and their associates were alleged to have conspired to defraud victims throughout California by hacking the credit card terminals and merchant accounts of dozens of medical and dental businesses. The defendants pled guilty to charges ranging from grand theft, conspiracy, and burglary. The leader of the scheme, Toni Coffman, received a prison sentence of 13 years and 8 months and was ordered to pay $861,000 in restitution. The defendants will serve a combined prison sentence of approximately 86 years.
“Criminal activity targeting merchants and consumers not only takes a financial toll on communities, but it endangers public safety,” said Attorney General Bonta. “Today I am proud to announce that as a result of the work of the California Department of Justice and our law enforcement partners throughout the state, we have brought these defendants to justice. This sentencing should send a powerful message: Criminal activity will not be tolerated in our state and we will hold those participating in illegal activities accountable.”
These prosecutions are the culmination of a three-year multiagency investigation of a series of burglaries and credit card schemes occurring in 13 counties across Northern California. The investigation, which began in February of 2016, discovered similarities between schemes in which credit card terminals were burglarized from businesses in cities around Northern California. Law enforcement discovered the schemes were tied to two criminal street gangs in the Antioch, Pittsburg, and Bay Point areas: the BullyBoys and the CoCo Boys. The gang members were alleged to have worked together to burglarize businesses in order to steal credit card terminals. The perpetrators used the stolen terminals to process returns. But instead of the value of the returns going to the business or to the customer, it was placed onto a debit card that the perpetrators pocketed. Over the course of the criminal operation, the defendants stole approximately $1 million.
The Attorney General’s eCrime and Special Prosecution Section are jointly prosecuting the case resulting from a multiagency investigation by the Northern California Computer Crimes Task Force, Walnut Creek Police Department, Antioch Police Department, Vacaville Police Department, Sacramento Police Department, Concord Police Department, San Rafael Police Department, Pittsburg Police Department, Napa Police Department and multiple other law enforcement agencies across Northern California.