Union city man arrested, charged with using stolen credit card numbers to purchase $30,000 worth of pesticides
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 28, 2011
NEWARK, N.J. – A Union City man was arrested yesterday for purchasing more than $30,000 worth of pesticides and pesticide applicators from wholesale suppliers using stolen credit card numbers, which he obtained over the phone from Michigan residents by posing as a representative of a local utility company, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Luis Colon, 28, was taken into custody yesterday by special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Colon is expected to appear this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Claire C. Cecchi in Newark federal court.
According to the Complaint unsealed today:
Luis Colon, in December 2009, selected names of Michigan residents from the Yellow Pages and placed phone calls to those individuals, posing as a representative of Consumer Energy, a Michigan utility company. During those calls, Colon invited individuals to participate in a bogus budget plan, as a ruse to obtain their credit card numbers. Colon used the stolen credit card numbers to purchase pesticides and pesticide applicators from wholesalers. Colon arranged for the products to be shipped to a co-conspirator’s home in West New York, New Jersey, and subsequently sold the products to a pest control store in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The Complaint alleges that from December 2009 until March 2010, Colon conspired with others to use credit cards that he was not authorized to use, with intent to defraud.
Conspiracy to commit credit card fraud carries a maximum penalty of five years’ imprisonment and a fine of $250,000.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward, with the investigation leading to the charges.
The Government is represented by Assistant United States Attorney Kathleen P. O'Leary of the U.S. Attorney's Office Health Care and Government Fraud Unit in Newark.
The charges and allegations contained in the Complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Defense counsel: Alexander W. Booth, Esq.