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Press Release

Four Family Members Sentenced To Federal Prison For Purchasing Theme Park Tickets With Counterfeit Credit Cards

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Florida

Orlando, Florida – Senior U.S. District Judge G. Kendall Sharp has sentenced four family members for their involvement in an access device fraud ring. Eileen Hightower (50, Kissimmee) was sentenced to three years and ten months in federal prison.  Her children, Samuel Velasquez, Jr. (26, Kissimmee) and Sabrina Velasquez (25, Kissimmee), along with her niece, Jennifer Cancel (28, Hartford, CT), were each sentenced to serve a term of three years’ imprisonment. The Court also ordered the individuals to pay a total of $107.097.33 in restitution. Each previously pleaded guilty for their role in this case.

According to court documents, the group had obtained counterfeit driver licenses and counterfeit credit cards encoded with stolen account information. The account numbers actually belonged to cardholders who were victimized by this scheme. The counterfeit credit cards were used by Hightower and her family members to purchase Orlando-area theme park tickets at hotel ticket kiosks throughout central Florida. They then sold the fraudulently-obtained tickets to ticket resellers in Kissimmee.  Over a period of a few months, more than $100,000 in theme park tickets were fraudulently purchased and then resold.

This case was investigated by the United States Secret Service and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Daniel C. Irick.

Updated January 22, 2016

Financial Fraud