Las Vegas Man Sentenced To Prison For Defrauding Thousands Of Victims Out Of $3.3 Million In Home Rental Scheme
LAS VEGAS, Nev. – The twelfth defendant to plead guilty in a large international counterfeit credit and debit card fraud scheme was sentenced Tuesday to eight years and two months in federal prison for his involvement in the multimillion dollar conspiracy, announced U.S. Attorney Nicholas A. Trutanich for the District of Nevada.
Andre Araujo Rodrigues, aka “Andre Rodriguez,” “Andre Gonzales,” “Andre Menudo,” and “Andre Rodrigues,” 35, of Porto Velho, Brazil, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Jennifer A. Dorsey. He pleaded guilty without the benefit of a plea agreement to Conspiracy to Commit Fraud and Related Activity in Connection with Access Devices, three counts of Possession Of Access Device-Making Equipment, Production, Use or Trafficking of Counterfeit Access Devices, and Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering. In addition to incarceration, he was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $2,288,180, and a criminal forfeiture money judgment of in the amount of $5 million was imposed.
From October 2015 to May 2016, Rodrigues conspired with others to commit credit and debit card fraud by using “skimmers” placed on automatic teller machines, cash-out transaction ticket dispensing terminals, such as Global Cash Advance (GCA) machines, and other means to obtain stolen account information. The group also obtained stolen credit card information through the use of malware and point of sale intrusions. Rodrigues and his co-conspirators set-up credit card forgery “laboratories” in residences and hotel rooms to manufacture counterfeit credit and debit cards. Equipment in the laboratories included counterfeit card production systems, thermal dye printers, foil tipping machines, card embossers, and card scanners and encoders.
Rodrigues and his co-conspirators used the counterfeit credit and debit cards to obtain cash withdrawals from ATMs and GCA machines located in Nevada and elsewhere and also to purchase high-end merchandise including luxury watches, jewelry, and clothing at hotel-casinos and businesses in Las Vegas, Nevada and other cities throughout the United States, including: Del Mar, California; Detroit, Michigan; New Orleans, Louisiana; Nassau County, New York; Biloxi, Mississippi; and Atlantic City, New Jersey. The group laundered the fraud proceeds and resold the fraudulently obtained retail items on the black market or online marketplaces.
In addition to Rodrigues, the following co-defendants have also pleaded guilty and either been sentenced or are awaiting sentencing:
The case was investigated by the FBI, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, the Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service, and the Henderson Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Burns is prosecuting the case.