California Woman Sentenced for Wire Fraud and Aggravated Identity Theft for Retail Fraud Scheme
BOISE – Arleen Cifuentes, 32, of Riverside, California, was sentenced to 71 months in federal prison for wire fraud and aggravated identity theft, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill also ordered Cifuentes to serve three years of supervised release, to pay $107,538.19 in restitution, and to forfeit $26,777.13 in cash proceeds of the charged offenses. Cifuentes pleaded guilty on January 27, 2015.
According to the plea agreement, Cifuentes engaged in a retail scheme between July 2013 and July 2014, whereby she defrauded retail stores by applying for, and obtaining, credit accounts in the identities of unknowing third party victims. Cifuentes then used the credit accounts to fraudulently purchase merchandise and gift cards. Cifuentes admitted to obtaining personal identifying information from a third party, running a credit report on the potential victims to determine their suitability for credit accounts, and then obtaining false California drivers' licenses in the victim's identity containing photos of Cifuentes or her co-defendants. Cifuentes admitted that she and her co-defendants executed the scheme on at least fifteen occasions in the District of Idaho. Cifuentes and co-defendant Rocio Contreras-Loya were arrested shortly after executing the scheme at the Boise Town Square Mall on July 24, 2014.
Co-defendant Contreras-Loya was sentenced by Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill on April 27, 2015, to 24 months in prison for one count of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft. Co-defendant Ivan Fonseca remains a fugitive.
The case was investigated by the United States Secret Service and the Boise Police Department.