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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Tampa Man Sentenced For Conspiracy To Steal And Cash Rent Checks Throughout The State Of Florida

Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Steven D. Merryday has sentenced Alfredo Castaneda-Pozo (30, Tampa) to five years and three months in federal prison for conspiracy to commit bank fraud and bank fraud. The Court also entered a restitution order in the amount of $429,044.96, to be paid to the victims of the offenses.  Castaneda pleaded guilty on May 9, 2016.

According to court documents, from approximately May 2013 through 2015, Castaneda was a leader of a group of conspirators who stole rent payments from rent collection boxes at more than 90 apartment complexes across Florida and in Georgia.  The conspirators staked out the drop boxes, burglarized them, and kept the money orders that the victim renters had purchased to pay their rent.  The conspirators then washed or altered the original money orders, replacing the original names with their own names, and deposited the stolen money orders into accounts under their control at several banks located throughout Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties.  They shared in the proceeds of the thefts, which totaled more than $429,000. 

Six of Castaneda’s coconspirators were charged in a related case. Each previously pleaded guilty and has been sentenced as follows:

          Juan Carlos Miranda-Noda was sentenced on September 8, 2015, to eight years and one month in federal prison.           

Yensy Guevara was sentenced on January 11, 2016, to 15 months’ imprisonment.

          Heysy Puente-Lopez was sentenced on January 12, 2016, to time served.

          Yamileysi Martell-Guillen was sentenced on January 14, 2016, to 12 months’ imprisonment.

          Isnelis Torres-Limonta was sentenced on January 15, 2016, to 15 months’ imprisonment. 

          Lazaro Velazques was sentenced on February 19, 2016, to 21 months’ imprisonment. 

This case was investigated by the United States Secret Service, the Clearwater Police Department, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, the Tampa Police Department, the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office, the Temple Terrace Police Department, the St. Petersburg Police Department, the Largo Police Department, the Bradenton Police Department, the Sarasota Police Department, the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, and the Palmetto Police Department.  It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Amanda Riedel and Megan Kistler.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
StopFraud
Component(s): 
Updated September 7, 2016