Credit Card Fraud Scheme Hit 5 States, Including Ohio
Twelve people are being charged for installing credit card skimmers on gas pumps throughout Northeast Ohio.
CLEVELAND, OH — In a massive, 26-count indictment 12 people were charged for their role in a massive credit card skimmers fraud. The group placed skimmers on gas pumps in at least five states, including many locations throughout Northeast Ohio.
"This group stole credit card information from thousands of people all over Northeast Ohio just looking to fill up their gas tanks and continue on their way," U.S. Attorney Justin E. Herdman said. "Instead, these victims had their personal information taken and used to make fraudulent credit cards, which this group in turn used to steal merchandise."
The skimming scheme took place between Aug. 2014 and July 2017. (To stay up to date on these stories, subscribe to the Patch Cleveland newsletter. As news breaks and the story develops, you will be the first to receive updates from Patch.)
Herdman's office said the group would work together to distract gas station employees and install the skimmers.
Skimmers from the group were found on gas pumps in Rocky River, Solon, Stow, Hudson, Fairview Park, Medina, Cleveland, Canton, Cuyahoga Falls, Norton, Austintown and elsewhere, according to a release from Herdman's office. Skimmers were also located in Colorado, Maryland, Utah and in other places.
Once the information was captured, the suspects then reportedly re-encoded the stolen credit card info, including the actual account holders' names, onto counterfeit cards. They then purchased gift cards, merchandise, goods and services in places throughout Ohio and the nation, the indictment says.
"This sophisticated, multistate criminal enterprise stole credit card numbers from innocent folks putting gas in their cars," said FBI Special Agent in Charge Stephen D. Anthony. "These individuals, now in custody, caused financial difficulties for numerous everyday citizens, and for this, they will be held accountable."
The suspects named in the indictment are:
- Ranset Rodriguez, 40, of Miami;
- Yaniris Alfonso, 31, of Miami;
- Jose Manuel Iglesias, 51, of West New York, New Jersey.;
- Juan Carlos Banos, 58, of Parma, Ohio;
- Carlos Rodriguez Martinez, 42, of Aurora, Colorado;
- Lester Enrique Castaneda, 39, of Hialeah, Florida;
- Edelberto Hernandez, 46, of Kiowa, Colorado;
- Eddy Pimentel-Vila, 45, of Jersey City, New Jersey;
- Luis Enrique Jimenez Gonzales, 27, of Hialeah, Florida;
- Yonasky Rosa, 34, of Tampa;
- Yadian Quesada-Hernandez, 31, of Tampa and
- Alejandro Moises, 52, of Miami.
"This case is a complex investigation that involves suspects from multiple states that targeted innocent people from Northern Ohio and around the country stealing their personal and financial information," said Secret Service Special Agent in Charge Jonathan Schuck. "The success of today's arrests are due to the great collaboration of multiple law enforcement agencies working together."
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