— The leader of a Birmingham gangsta-rap group, alleged to be a part of a large identity theft and credit-card fraud scheme, has turned himself in.
Talmadge Christian Parker, also known as Champ Tha Don Dada, surrendered to the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office on Thursday afternoon. Parker is charged with 40 felony counts, including 21 charges of fraudulent use of a credit or debit card and 18 charges of identity theft.
Parker is lodged in the Jefferson County Jail in lieu of $900,000 bond.
Parker is alleged to be the leader of the rap group that has financed its operations through the theft and fraud scheme, which was uncovered in February by Gardendale Police, among other law enforcement agencies. He is one of six people facing warrants for a total of 164 charges. The other five remain at large.
The scheme was first noticed when Regions Bank's real-time fraud monitoring division notified police of possible fraudulent activity, some of which was linked to restaurants in Gardendale and north Jefferson County. The group is alleged to have stolen card account data, used that data to male fraudulent cards, then used those cards to buy gift cards -- a soft of credit-laundering scheme. The gift cards were then used for the group's everyday activities.
If you have information regarding the remaining five suspects, call Det. Chris Clark at the Gardendale Police Department, 205-631-8787.