Second California Woman Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud and Aggravated Identity Theft for Retail Fraud Scheme
BOISE – Rocio Contreras-Loya, 40, of Sante Fe Springs, California, 31, pleaded guilty today in United States District Court to one count of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. Sentencing is set for April 27, 2015, before Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill.
Contreras-Loya was indicted, along with Arleen Cifuentes, 31, of Riverside, California, and Ivan Fonseca, 30, of Richmond, California in September 2014, for wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and possession of fifteen or more unauthorized access devices. According to the plea agreement, Contreras-Loya 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. Contreras-Loya then used the credit accounts to fraudulently purchase merchandise and gift cards. Contreras-Loya admitted she received, from co-defendant Cifuentes, victim identification information and false California Driver's Licenses in the victims' names, containing Contreras-Loya's photo. Contreras-Loya admitted that she and her co-defendants executed the scheme on at least fifteen occasions in the District of Idaho. Cifuentes and Contreras-Loya were arrested shortly after executing the scheme at the Boise Town Square Mall.
Wire Fraud is punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, a term of supervised release of not more than three years, and a $100 special assessment. Aggravated Identity Theft is punishable by a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of two years, a term of supervised release of not more than one year, a maximum fine of $250,000, and a special assessment of $100. As part of her plea, Contreras-Loya also agreed to forfeit $26,777.13 in cash proceeds of the charged offenses.
Co-defendant Arleen Cifuentes pled guilty to one count of Wire Fraud and one count of Aggravated Identity Theft on January 27, 2015. Her sentencing is also scheduled for April 27th before Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill. Co-defendant Ivan Fonseca remains a fugitive.
The case was investigated by the United States Secret Service and the Boise Police Department.