Tampa Man Pleads Guilty To Credit Card Fraud And Identity Theft Charges
Tampa, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that Noel Perez Partagas (21, Tampa) today pleaded guilty to two counts of access device (credit card) fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft. Partagas faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison for each of the credit card fraud offenses and 2 consecutive years’ imprisonment on the identity theft charge.
According to the plea agreement, Partagas obtained stolen credit and debit account numbers, which he used to create and/or purchase counterfeit or cloned credit cards. The true owners of the credit and debit accounts remained in possession of the cards and did not know to report them stolen. Partagas used the cards to purchase large quantities of fuel and tires, among other things, that could later be sold for cash.
Partagas had previously been arrested in July 2013, when he purchased approximately $100 worth of diesel fuel using a fraudulent credit card at a Murphy Gas location in Polk County. At the time, he was driving a pick-up truck with a large custom “bladder tank” in the truck’s bed that was used to hold large quantities of fuel. Partagas was also in possession of 69 credit cards and 20 gift cards, most which had been re-encoded. In early May 2013, Partagas also used fraudulent credit cards to purchase nearly $42,000 worth of tires from two tire retailers in the Lakeland area. The credit card companies suffered losses of over $65,000, with potential losses totaling nearly $350,000.
This case was investigated by the United States Secret Service, Polk County Sheriff’s Office, Tampa Police Department and Florida Department of Law Enforcement. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kelley C. Howard-Allen.