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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, April 22, 2016

Tampa Man Convicted Of Multiple Identity Theft And Credit Card Fraud Conspiracies

Tampa, FL – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that a federal jury has found Yannier Arias guilty of 17 counts of conspiracy, aggravated identity theft, and access device fraud. He faces a maximum penalty of 5 years in federal prison on the conspiracy charges and 10 years’ imprisonment on the access device fraud, followed by 2 years on the aggravated identity theft charges. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for August 9, 2016. Arias was indicted on August 27, 2015.

According to evidence presented at trial, Arias first conspired with another Tampa man, Dariel Sardinas Lopez, to “skim” credit card numbers from identity theft victims at various gas stations in Hillsborough, Pinellas, and Sarasota counties; produce counterfeit credit cards encoded with that stolen account information; and then use those counterfeit cards to make thousands of dollars of fraudulent purchases in Florida and Michigan. After Lopez was arrested, Arias entered a second conspiracy with Jose Ojeda Vera, another Tampa man. It again involved the use of counterfeit cards encoded with the account information of identity theft victims to make similar purchases, including at luxury retailers such as Versace, Armani, and Louis Vuitton. All of the victims still had their cards in their possession when they learned that their accounts had been unlawfully used.

This case was investigated by the United States Secret Service Financial Investigative Strike Team (FIST) and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. It was tried by Assistant United States Attorneys Kelley Howard-Allen and Eric K. Gerard.

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Updated April 22, 2016