Cuban man sentenced for role in fraudulent bank card conspiracy
DALLAS — Roberto Carlos Puebla Saavedra, 32, originally from Cuba, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Sidney A. Fitzwater to 60 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $408,596.46 in restitution for his role in a conspiracy involving fraudulent purchases in North Texas using counterfeit bank cards, announced U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas.
Saavedra pleaded guilty in June 2017 to one count of conspiracy to produce, use, or traffic a counterfeit access device. He has been in custody since the time of his arrest in July 2016.
According to documents filed in the case, from at least August 2014 through July 2016, Saavedra, along with his co-defendants, obtained lists of credit and debit card numbers belonging to other individuals online. They used the card information to create counterfeit bank cards using devices to encode the cards with the fraudulently obtained account information. The defendants went to various retail stores and purchased prepaid gift cards and shopping cards with the counterfeit cards. The defendants then took those purchased prepaid gift cards and shopping cards to other stores and purchased items, including other gift cards, to further launder the illegally obtained money.
The scheme was discovered after an investigator from JPMorgan Chase observed a large volume of fraudulent transactions being made with unauthorized JPMorgan Chase debit card numbers at Walmart stores in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex area. JPMorgan Chase’s investigator worked with Walmart investigators to collect surveillance footage and conduct surveillance of the defendants engaging in the fraudulent transactions.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Secret Service and the Plano Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jamie L. Hoxie and Shane Read prosecuted.
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