West Bloomfield brothers sentenced in $9.2 million gift card fraud scheme

Harry Gappy, Hadeer Gappy

Money. (Pexels)

WEST BLOOMFIELD, Mich. – Two brothers from West Bloomfield have been sentenced in connection with a $9.2 million fraud scheme centered around selling illegally obtained gift cards.

Harry Gappy, 56, and Hadeer Gappy, 48, both of West Bloomfield, are accused of buying fraudulently obtained gift cards and store-valued Visa and MasterCard cards at discounted values from February 2016 through February 2018.

Officials said the brothers, who owned and operated Bottoms Up Liquor in Detroit, would buy the cards and sell them to online resellers at a higher price. Those resellers would electronically transmit funds to bank accounts owned by the Gappys, officials said.

Over two years, the brothers bought $9.2 million worth of fraudulently obtained cards, based on total face value, according to authorities.

People would use compromised credit and debit card accounts to buy gift cards from stores such as Target, Macy’s, Walmart, Home Depot, Kohl’s, and JCPenny, officials said. They would then sell the cards at a discount to the Gappy brothers at Bottoms Up, according to records.

Authorities said those involved would often line up outside Bottoms Up before it opened so they could sell the cards. They could reference a price list in the store window that showed the rate the Gappys would pay for certain cards, officials said.

The Gappys would pay 70% of face value for Walmart and Home Depot cards, and 60% of face value for Kohl’s and JCPenny cards, according to court records.

Over the course of two years, the brothers sold about $6.3 million worth of gift cards to the online buyers and resellers, authorities said. They also processed more than $2.9 million in store-valued card transactions, for a total of about $9.2 million.

Hadeer Gappy was sentenced in April to four years in prison for his participation in the conspiracy, officials said.

Harry Gappy was sentenced Friday (July 15) to four years in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, according to authorities.

About the Author:

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.