News and Press Releases

Connecticut Financial Crimes Task Force:
FLORIDA MAN SENTENCED TO FIVE YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISON FOR CREDIT CARD FRAUD AND IDENTITY THEFT OFFENSES

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 21, 2011

David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that KHRISTIAN MUNIZAGA, 36, of Miami, Fla., was sentenced today by United States District Judge Janet Bond Arterton in New Haven to 61 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for operating a $200,000 credit card fraud and identity theft scheme.
           
According to court documents and statements made in court, between May 2010 and November 2010, MUNIZAGA unlawfully obtained several credit card numbers and created counterfeit credit cards bearing an embossment of the credit card numbers and the names of two actual persons.  He also created counterfeit drivers’ licenses in the names of the two persons.  MUNIZAGA then used the counterfeit credit cards to purchase gift cards from Stop & Shop, Big Y, Staples, and Safeway stores, and to rent vehicles from Hertz.  These transactions occurred in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, and Virginia.  MUNIZAGA sold some of the gift cards to others and kept some for his own use.

As a result of this fraud scheme, the victim businesses suffered approximately $200,000 in losses.

On November 17, 2010, MUNIZAGA was arrested by East Windsor police at a Big Y Supermarket in East Windsor after store employees recognized MUNIZAGA from an internal alert that Big Y had created in response to this fraud scheme.  At the time of his arrest, MUNIZAGA possessed nine counterfeit credit cards, four gift cards, and a Florida driver’s license that contained his photo, but was in the name of another person.

Today, Judge Arterton ordered MUNIZAGA to pay restitution in the amount of $190,792.98.
On August 2, 2011, MUNIZAGA pleaded guilty to one count of access device fraud and one count of identity theft.

MUNIZAGA’s criminal history includes several credit card fraud and identity theft convictions dating to November 2000.  He has been incarcerated since his arrest on November 17, 2010.

This matter was investigated by the Connecticut Financial Crimes Task Force and the East Windsor Police Department.  The Task Force includes members of the United States Secret Service; the United States Postal Inspection Service; the United States Department of State, Bureau of Diplomatic Security; the Connecticut State Police; and the Glastonbury, Greenwich, Hartford, New Haven and Shelton Police Departments.

            This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Elizabeth A. Latif.

PUBLIC AFFAIRS CONTACT:

U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE
Tom Carson
(203) 821-3722
thomas.carson@usdoj.gov

 

 

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