Kayla Massa, an Instagram influencer with over 300,000 followers, and nine alleged co-conspirators were arrested on Thursday (February 13) and charged with conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud.
Prosecutors have accused Massa of posting Instagram Story “ads” via her @Kayg0ldi account which asked followers to direct message (DM) her if they wanted to make money.
Massa would then allegedly persuade followers that responded to hand over their debit card details, PIN, and online banking details via Instagram DM or text message.
According to the criminal complaint, Massa would tell victims that their bank details were being used for a “legit” or “legal” money-making opportunity and that funds deposited to their account would be split 50/50 between Massa and the victim.
Prosecutors claim that Massa would also encourage victims to empty their bank accounts before handing over their debit card details and PIN to “falsely allay any fears of losing money.”
Massa and her and nine accomplices would then allegedly deposit fraudulent money orders into their victim’s bank accounts which had been stolen from the Berlin, New Jersey post office.
Prosecutors claim that Massa and her accomplices would quickly spend half of the deposited funds before the banks realized the deposited money orders were fraudulent.
Once the banks realized the money orders were fraudulent, the funds would be recalled and the victims would be left with a negative balance, according to the criminal complaint.
Massa would then allegedly block victims and cease contact after completing the scam.
Prosecutors allege that Massa and her accomplices brought in more than $1.5 million as part of the scheme and encouraged more than 45 victims to hand over their bank details.
The group also allegedly promoted the scam on Facebook and Snapchat.
Massa’s nine alleged accomplices, Leire Massa (Kayla Massa’s sister who went by 0nlyg0ldenLe online), Jordan Herrin (Kayla Massa’s boyfriend), Erasmo Feliciano (Leire Massa’s boyfriend), William Logan (who went by 100k_nlb online), Alex Haines, Kevin McDaniels (who went by chasesir100k online), Jabreel Martin (who went by 1hunit_mill online), Andrew Johnson (who went by Savage_Santa online), and Dezhon McCrae (who went by realycwoody and YC Woody online), were also arrested on Thursday.