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Press Release

Florida Man Sentenced for Green Bay Area Gas Pump Skimming Scam

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Wisconsin

United States Attorney Matthew D. Krueger of the Eastern District of Wisconsin, announced that on July 17, 2018, Alain Ceballos-Rodriguez (age: 37), a Cuban citizen living in Tampa, Florida, was sentenced to 48 months in federal prison for his violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1028A and 1029(a)(1), involving credit card fraud and aggravated identity theft.

In March of 2017, the Brown County Sheriff’s Office began investigating reports of skimming devices found attached to credit card readers at Green Bay area gas station pumps. The investigation revealed that information from the skimming devices would be transmitted via Bluetooth technology to a laptop which would then be used by the perpetrators to create “clone” cards. Those clone cards were then given to individuals, including Mr. Ceballos-Rodriguez, who would purchase Wal-Mart gift cards valued at up to $1,000 per card. Ceballos-Rodriguez and his co-conspirators utilized the self-checkout kiosks to purchase hundreds of gift cards at Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club locations throughout the Eastern District of Wisconsin. Those Wal-Mart gift cards were then taken back to Florida where they were used or sold online at discounted prices.  

Chief Judge William C. Griesbach in pronouncing sentence noted the serious problem nationwide with credit card skimmers being attached to ATM machines and gas pump credit card readers. He further noted that while Ceballos-Rodriguez was a lower-level participant, his participation was part of a much larger and well-organized fraud ring based in Florida largely comprised of Cuban nationals. The judge noted the overwhelming number of individuals whose financial information had been compromised by the scheme and believed a strong prison sentence was necessary to deter Ceballos-Rodriguez and others from engaging in similar behavior. In addition to the 48 months term of imprisonment, Ceballos-Rodriguez will spend three years on supervised release.

This case was investigated by the Brown County Sheriff’s Office.  It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Megan J. Paulson and Daniel R. Humble.

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For additional information contact:

Public Information Officer Dean Puschnig, 414-297-1700

Updated July 19, 2018