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Press Release

New Jersey Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Fraud Conviction in New Mexico

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE – Michael Silva, 25, of West Orange, N.J., was sentenced today in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to 18 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for his conviction on fraudulent use of counterfeit access devices charges.

Silva was arrested on Sept. 11, 2015, on a 15-count indictment charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit aggravated identity theft, 11 counts of access devise fraud, and two counts of aggravated identity theft.  The indictment alleged that from March 7, 2015 through April 21, 2015, Silva conspired with others to commit access device fraud and aggravated identity theft in Bernalillo, Sandoval and Santa Fe Counties, N.M.

According to the indictment, Silva participated in a conspiracy to use electronic devices known as “skimmers” on Automatic Teller Machines (ATM) to record information encoded on bank cards inserted into ATMs by legitimate bank customers.  The “skimmers” permitted Silva and his coconspirators to record Personal Identification Number (PIN) codes and magnetic data recorded from bank cards to create fraudulent bank cards.  They then used the fraudulent bank cards to access the bank accounts of legitimate bank customers.

On Nov. 12, 2015, Silva entered a guilty plea to two counts of access device fraud.  In entering the guilty plea, Silva admitted that in April 2015, he possessed electronic devices that could be used to unlawfully obtain bank account information and PIN codes from innocent users at ATMs.  Silva admitted using the electronic devices known as “skimmers” to obtain PIN codes and to create fraudulent bank cards.  Silva further admitted that on April 19, 2015, he used two counterfeit bank cards at the ATM at First Financial Credit Union on San Mateo Blvd. in Albuquerque to withdraw a total of $600.00 in cash from bank accounts without permission from the account holders.

This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of Homeland Security Investigations and the Albuquerque Police Department.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathon M. Gerson prosecuted the case.

Updated February 11, 2016

Financial Fraud