Three Cuban Nationals Plead Guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Access Device Fraud, Aggravated Identity Theft
U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite announced that three Cuban nationals, all residing in Florida, pled guilty today to one count each of conspiracy to commit access device fraud and aggravated identity theft. Two other defendants have already pled guilty in the case, which charged six defendants in total.
JULIET ESTRADA PEREZ, LUIS RIVERA GARCIA, and JESUS ENRIQUE GONZALES TORRES pled guilty to conspiring among themselves and with others to possessing fifteen or more unauthorized and counterfeit access devices, as well as producing, possessing, and trafficking device-making equipment. According to court records, the defendants traveled from Florida in late July 2015, and agreed to place card skimming devices on gas pumps in the New Orleans area. They also admitted to, among other things, possessing a card encoding machine, a card embossing machine, and a laptop computer containing stolen credit card information. JULIET ESTRADA PEREZ, LUIS RIVERA GARCIA, and JESUS ENRIQUE GONZALES TORRES were arrested in the Southern District of Florida in April 2016 on bond violations, after they were being found in the Florida Strait between Florida and Cuba by the United States Coast Guard, and have been detained since then as flight risks.
On the conspiracy charge, each defendant faces a maximum penalty of not more than five years of imprisonment. Each aggravated identity theft charge carries a mandatory sentence of two years of imprisonment, which must be served consecutively to any other prison sentence. The defendants further face terms of supervised release, fines, and restitution obligations upon conviction.
U.S. Attorney Polite praised the work of Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, the United States Secret Service, and Homeland Security Investigations in investigating this matter. Assistant U.S. Attorney Hayden Brockett is in charge of the prosecution.