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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Jersey

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 14, 2018

California Man Sentenced To Three Years In Prison For Scheme To Steal 94,000 Debit And Credit Cards From Michaels’ Stores In 19 States

CAMDEN, N.J. – A Riverside, California, man was sentenced today to 36 months in prison for his role in a conspiracy to steal 94,000 credit and debit cards from customers at approximately 80 Michaels’ Stores and use that information to make fraudulent withdrawals from the customers’ bank accounts, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Angel Angulo, 28, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Joseph H. Rodriguez to Count One and Count Two of an indictment charging him with conspiracy to commit bank fraud and aggravated identity theft. Judge Rodriguez imposed the sentence today in Camden federal court.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

The conspirators installed devices that acquired customers’ bank account and personal identification number (PIN) information on point of sale (POS) terminals at stores operated by Michaels. The stolen account information was used to produce counterfeit bank cards, which were used with the stolen PINs to withdraw funds from the compromised bank accounts.

The conspirators allegedly replaced 88 POS terminals in 80 different stores operated by Michaels across 19 states, including New Jersey, with counterfeit POS devices. Each counterfeit device was equipped with wireless technology, which the conspirators used to retrieve the stolen information. From February 2011 to April 2011, conspirators stole approximately 94,000 debit and credit card account numbers.

From April 2011 to May 2011, Angulo, Crystal Banuelos, and others obtained counterfeit cards with the corresponding PIN numbers written on them from other conspirators. They used the cards and PIN numbers to withdraw money using ATMs from hundreds of bank accounts. On May 14, 2011, Angulo and Banuelos possessed 179 counterfeit cards in New Jersey.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Rodriguez sentenced Angulo to five years of supervised release and ordered him to pay restitution of $480,300.

Banuelos previously pleaded guilty to her role in the scheme and is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 5, 2018.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the U.S. Secret Service, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Mark McKevitt, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Shapiro of the Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Economic Crimes Unit.

Defense counsel: Lisa Lewis Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defender, Camden

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Identity Theft
Component(s): 
Press Release Number: 
18-097
Updated March 14, 2018