Prosecutors say a rising rapper with a major social media following used her fame to dupe her own fan base into a credit card scheme.
Ashley Bautista, aka Young Ash, was hauled into Manhattan Supreme Court in cuffs Wednesday and pleaded not guilty to grand larceny.
The flamboyant hip-hop artist was known as a recruiter, who flashed wads of cash in snaps on social media, promising her followers fast money in exchange for their bank account information, according to ADA Alona Katz.
She was indicted with five co-defendants for allegedly using victims’ personal information, forged checks and ATM cards to withdraw cash from bank accounts in a scheme known as “card cracking,” according to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.
“As Commissioner O’Neill and I warned last year, ‘card cracking’ scammers with large followings on Snapchat and other platforms are luring people into their schemes by showing off designer merchandise, luxury cars and stacks of cash,” said DA Cyrus Vance Jr. in a statement.
“Social media users who see these posts promising quick, fast money should know that they are scams.”
Co-defendant Gabriel Molina, 32, a former concierge at a luxury Upper West Side building, was responsible for collecting rent checks. He secretly snapped pictures of the checks and sent them to Frayluis Henriquez, 23, who used them to create forged checks, authorities said.
Molina and Henriquez used the bank accounts of Bautista’s fans to deposit the forged checks and withdraw money, according to officials.
Justin Simon, 22, and Jarod Bailey, 21, acted as runners who allegedly deposited checks and withdrew cash from the accounts.