News and Press Releases

SENTENCING IN IDENTITY THEFT AND CREDIT CARD FRAUD SCHEME

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 19, 2011

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Michael K. Fithen, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Secret Service, Miami Field Office, announced today that Jose Cruz, 28, and Lisandra Cruz, 19, both of Hialeah, were sentenced to 75 months and 48 months in prison, respectively, before U.S. District Court Judge Jose M. Martinez. Their co-defendant, Yuremys Marchante, 30, also of Hialeah, was sentenced to 57 months in prison on April 19, 2011. All three defendants were convicted at trial on all four counts in the indictment, charging conspiracy to commit access device fraud, unauthorized use of access devices, and aggravated identity theft, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1029 and 1028A. A fourth defendant, Alexis Toledo, was sentenced on April 8, 2011, after pleading guilty. All of the defendants have been ordered to pay restitution in an amount to be determined at a later hearing.

According to evidence presented at trial, between April 30, 2010 and May 29, 2010, defendants Jose Cruz and Yuremys Marchante recruited Toledo to skim credit card numbers from customers at a Flanigan’s restaurant in Hialeah, where Toledo was employed. When unsuspecting customers would use their credit cards to pay for a meal, Toledo would swipe their card through a skimmer provided by Cruz and his girlfriend Marchante. Those stolen credit card numbers were then later used by Cruz and Marchante to make dozens of fraudulent purchases from a Target store in Miami Gardens, where Lisandra Cruz, Jose’s sister, worked as a cashier. The transactions were recorded on video.

At today’s hearing, U.S. District Judge Jose E. Martinez concluded that defendants Jose Cruz and Yuremys Marchante were each responsible for a loss amount between $120,000 and $200,000, in fraud and also imposed a two-level increase in determining their sentencing guidelines, after finding that both were leaders and organizers of the conspiracy.

Mr. Ferrer commended the U.S. Secret Service and the Miami-Dade Police Department for their work in the case. This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Olivia Choe.

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A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

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