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Press Release

Tampa Man Sentenced To More Than Eight Years For Role In Multiple Identity Theft And Credit Card Fraud Conspiracies

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

Tampa, FL – U.S. District Judge Susan C. Bucklew today sentenced Yannier Arias to eight years and six months in federal prison for conspiracy, aggravated identity theft, and access device fraud.  The Court also ordered him to forfeit $17,343.62, which is traceable to proceeds of the offenses.  A federal jury found Arias guilty on April 21, 2016.

According to court documents, 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.

Sardinas Lopez previously pleaded guilty and was sentenced in July 2015 to four years in federal prison.  Ojeda Vera has been charged for his role in the case and is currently a fugitive.

This case was investigated by the United States Secret Service, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and the Florida Highway Patrol. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Kelley Howard-Allen and Eric Gerard.

Updated September 6, 2016

Financial Fraud
Identity Theft