Man Convicted of Possessing Thousands of Stolen Credit, Debit and Gift Card Numbers and Using Them to Buy Electronics
Las Vegas, Nev. – A federal jury has convicted a man of felony charges for unlawfully obtaining thousands of credit, debit and gift card numbers and using them to obtain cash and to buy electronics which he later resold, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.
Ryan Masters, 28, of Las Vegas, was convicted on Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, of one count of conspiracy, four counts of possession of 15 or more counterfeit or unauthorized access devices, one count of aggravated identity theft, and criminal forfeiture. The trial began on Oct. 29, 2012.
"Thieves who commit credit card, debit card and gift card fraud harm our economy and damage the public's confidence in our financial transaction system," said U.S. Attorney Bogden. "We will do our part to protect the public by prosecuting these thieves to the maximum extent of the law."
According to the superseding indictment and the evidence presented by the government at trial, between May 2010 and April 2012, Masters purchased stolen credit, debit or gift card account numbers from a person in Pakistan, and used them to purchase things of value, primarily electronics, which Masters later resold for his own benefit. Masters also obtained thousands of pages of customer records, including credit card numbers, stolen from a hotel in Las Vegas. Masters also used computer software to predict gift card numbers issued by card companies, and then used up the money on these gift cards before the true owners could use them.
Masters is in custody and is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Miranda M. Du on Feb. 25, 2013. He faces up to 10 years in prison on the conspiracy and access device counts and a mandatory two additional years in prison on the aggravated identity theft count, plus fines of up to $250,000.
The case was investigated by the FBI and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Chu.
Today's announcement is part of efforts underway by President Obama's Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force (FFETF) which was created in November 2009 to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. With more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. attorneys' offices and state and local partners, it's the broadest coalition of law enforcement, investigatory and regulatory agencies ever assembled to combat fraud. Since its formation, the task force has made great strides in facilitating increased investigation and prosecution of financial crimes; enhancing coordination and cooperation among federal, state and local authorities; addressing discrimination in the lending and financial markets and conducting outreach to the public, victims, financial institutions and other organizations. Over the past three fiscal years, the Justice Department has filed more than 10,000 financial fraud cases against nearly 15,000 defendants including more than 2,700 mortgage fraud defendants. For more information on the task force, visit www.stopfraud.gov.