Las Vegas Resident Sentenced To Prison For COVID-19 Relief Loan Scheme Committed While On Supervised Release
LAS VEGAS – A Las Vegas man was sentenced yesterday to 111 months in prison for using skimming devices to steal victims’ identities and credit card account information to buy luxury merchandise — including Rolex watches and high-end purses — and to obtain cash advances at various properties on The Strip.
According to court documents, from about January 1, 2013, to January 3, 2017, Fausto Teixeira Martins Neto (41) — also known as “Margrello,” “Fausto Neto,” and “Fausto Martins” — and co-conspirators placed skimming devices on ATMs and cash-out transaction ticket dispensing terminals, such as Global Cash Advance machines, in order to steal credit card account information. Martins Neto and others would then encode the stolen account information onto forged credit cards. They used the counterfeit cards to purchase high-end retail items, such as Rolex watches and luxury designer purses, and to withdraw money from hotel-casino cash advance machines and ATMs. In total, Martins Neto and co-conspirators stole over $2.28 million through their fraud scheme.
Martins Neto pleaded guilty in March 2020 to one count of use or trafficking in unauthorized access device and one count of aggravated identity theft. In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Judge Jennifer A. Dorsey sentenced Martins Neto to three years of supervised release.
Acting U.S. Attorney Christopher Chiou for the District of Nevada and Special Agent in Charge Aaron C. Rouse for the FBI made the announcement.
Martins Neto is the 14th defendant to be sentenced in this case. Twenty-one individuals were charged in a 2017 indictment for their alleged roles in the conspiracy. The remaining seven indicted defendants are currently at large. The charges as to these seven defendants are allegations only: they are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
This case was the product of a ten-month investigation by the FBI, the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, and the Henderson Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Simon Kung is prosecuting the case.