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Press Release

Tampa Woman Sentenced To 7 Years In Prison For Role In Credit Card Fraud / Identity Theft Ring

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

Tampa, FL – U.S. District Judge James S. Moody, Jr. today sentenced Danay Crespo-Rodriguez (25, Tampa) to seven years’ incarceration for conspiracy to commit credit card fraud and aggravated identity theft. The Court also ordered her to pay $599,744.11 in restitution to the victims of her crimes and entered a forfeiture money judgment in the amount of $655,568.61, which represents the proceeds of Crespo-Rodriguez’s crimes.

Crespo-Rodriguez pleaded guilty on October 1, 2013 and was released on bond.  She then absconded from supervision on November 10, 2013 and was only recaptured after she was arrested at a Tampa-area Target store for shoplifting and assault. Three of her co-conspirators have already pleaded guilty for their roles in the scheme. One was convicted on all counts following a trial. Four others have been sentenced. Another co-conspirator remains a fugitive.

According to court documents, the conspirators, led by Michel Lermos-Hernandez, ran a credit card fraud ring. Lermos, aided by his girlfriend, Danay Crespo-Rodriguez, and others, obtained credit card numbers by placing key loggers on credit card terminals that intercepted and stored swiped credit and debit card account information at the International Mall in Tampa. One key logger, in particular, was placed at the Haagen-Dazs ice cream store. Lermos and others then created counterfeit credit cards using the stolen credit and debit card account numbers. After making the credit cards, Lermos provided the counterfeit credit cards to his co-conspirators, including his sister, Norma Cabezas-Hernandez, his girlfriend, Danay-Crespo Rodgriguez, and at least two other individuals, Lazaro Rodriguez and Abel Osorio-Cuok. The conspirators used the counterfeit cards to buy electronics and gift cards at Tampa-area retailers. The conspirators then took these items to Viviana Reyes= house, where she paid them in cash for the fraudulently-obtained merchandise. When Reyes purchased the items from her conspirators, she paid them approximately 50% of the retail value of the items, before reselling them for approximately 60% of the retail value. Reyes advertised the items via text message and email.

Agents recovered more than 4,000 stolen credit and debit card numbers and estimate the loss to the affected financial institutions, to date, is in excess of $650,000.

This case was investigated by the Tampa Police Department, Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the United States Secret Service (USSS), all of whom are members of the USSS’s credit card fraud and identity theft task force. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Mandy Riedel and Suzanne Nebesky.

Updated January 26, 2015