Accused leader of card reader theft ring that hit Napa dentist gets 13 years in prison | Crime and Courts

An Antioch resident will serve more than 13 years in state prison for leading a scheme to steal credit card readers and use the devices to fraudulently withdraw more than $1 million, according to California and Napa city authorities.

Toni Coffman, 37, was one of 29 people to be sentenced in connection with the theft and hacking of credit card terminals from dozens of dental and medical offices, state Attorney General Rob Bonta announced Friday. The defendants, who authorities said belonged to or were associated with the Bully Boys and CoCo Boys street gangs of Contra Costa County, pleaded guilty to grand theft, burglary and criminal conspiracy charges.

Coffman, described by authorities as the ringleader of the thefts, received a sentence of 13 years and eight months and was ordered to pay $861,000 restitution, Bonta said in a news release. 

Sentencing information for the other 28 defendants was not immediately available. In all, the defendants’ prison terms will total about 86 years.

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Coffman was one of three people arrested after a break-in at a Napa dentist’s office on the night of Feb. 2, 2016, according to police Sgt. Pete Piersig.

A cab driver who heard the sound of breaking glass in the 3000 block of Solano Avenue notified officers, who saw burglary damage at the dental practice and three people driving away in a stolen vehicle, Piersig said Wednesday.

When police stopped the vehicle and detained the occupants, they found stolen card readers inside, according to Piersig, who identified Coffman as the getaway driver.

Coffman and two men from Pittsburg were booked into the Napa County jail on suspicion of burglary, criminal conspiracy, and possessing stolen property, burglary tools and drugs.

Three out-of-towners were arrested after a taxi cab driver reported suspicious circumstances on Solano Avenue in Napa Tuesday night.

An investigation bolstered by several search warrants in Contra Costa County revealed that thieves were burglarizing various medical and dental buildings, looking for specific card reader models to steal. They would then use the machines to put funds on gift or credit cards, thousands of dollars at a time, Piersig said in an email.

After Coffman’s arrest, authorities found 28 stolen credit card terminals in a storage unit belonging to her, as well as patients’ records swiped from a Stockton office, the San Jose Mercury News reported after Coffman and other suspects were indicted in 2018.

A detective from Walnut Creek Police, assigned to the Northern California Computer Crimes Task Force, took the lead in the investigation and used evidence from the 2016 Napa incident to connect other people to the theft ring, according to Piersig.

“Although Coffman was a suspect in other agencies’ cases, by Napa PD actually arresting her and doing a search warrant at her house in Antioch, it got the ball rolling on the rest of the case,” he said.

Members of the CoCo Boys and Bully Boys were arrested in September 2018 and indicted, along with Coffman, in Sacramento County Superior Court on 240 counts linked to the burglaries. The scheme struck businesses in 13 counties, led to the theft of at least 40 card scanners, and left behind more than 60 identity theft victims, the Mercury News reported at the time.

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You can reach Howard Yune at 530-763-2266 or


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