Seven Indicted in Connection with Gas Station Skimming Scheme
ALBANY, NEW YORK – Seven people have been indicted for a scheme in which they stole and used credit and debit card numbers of gas station customers in Albany, Broome and Montgomery Counties.
The announcement was made by United States Attorney Grant C. Jaquith; James N. Hendricks, Special Agent in Charge of the Albany Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); and Inspector in Charge Joseph Cronin, Boston Division, United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS).
The three defendants arrested to date are:
- Joan Jesus Manso Dieguez, age 33, of Miami, Florida, charged with conspiracy to commit access device fraud and money laundering;
- Atnetys Ferreira, age 40, of Miami, charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering; and
- Hugo Hernandez, age 32, of Miami Lakes, Florida, charged with conspiracy to commit access device fraud and money laundering.
The charges in the indictment are merely accusations. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
According to the indictment, from April 2016 through approximately December 2018, defendants conspired to build and install gas station skimming devices and install those devices inside gas pumps in Albany, Broome, and Montgomery Counties, so that they could steal credit and debit card data of gas station customers who used the “pay at the pump” function to purchase gasoline.
The defendants then used that data to create fraudulent debit and credit cards, which they or co-conspirators used to obtain money orders, gift cards, cash, and other merchandise. The indictment also alleges that five of the defendants conspired to engage in financial transactions with money orders and gift cards obtained through the scheme that were designed to conceal the source of the stolen funds, and obtain cash or transfer the value of the gift cards, using gift card exchange websites, to bank accounts controlled by the members of the conspiracy.
If convicted, Dieguez, Ferreira, and Hernandez each face up to 20 years in prison, and a fine of up to $500,000 or twice the value of the property involved in the money laundering conspiracy. A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other factors.
This case is being investigated by the FBI and USPIS, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Rick Belliss and Emily C. Powers.