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Press Release

Dominican National Sentenced in Massive Credit Card, Bank Fraud Scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Rhode Island

PROVIDENCE – A Dominican national convicted in a massive fraud scheme that resulted in tens of thousands of stolen credit card numbers and the stolen personal identifying information of thousands of individuals being used to defraud banks of at nearly $1.3 million dollars was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Providence today to 41 months in federal prison.

Juan Jose Rodriguez-Castro, 37, and fellow Dominican national, Wilbred Armando Reyes-Castro, 27, were arrested by Pawtucket Police on June 6, 2018, when officers responded to a 911 emergency call for an armed home invasion in progress at a Pawtucket residence. Pawtucket Police detained three individuals as they fled out a rear door. Jewelry and a watch belonging to individuals inside the apartment were located on the individuals detained by the officers.

Inside the apartment, officers encountered Rodriguez-Castro and Reyes-Castro, and observed a laptop computer, color printers, a laminating machine, a home-made ATM-style card reader, and American Express signature stickers similar to those used on the backs of credit cards.

A further court-authorized search of the residence resulted in the seizure of seven laptops containing credit card numbers of approximately 18,000 individuals. Also seized was equipment used to steal credit and debit card information at gas pumps, a mobile credit card reader, the inside of an ATM, a photo ID card printer, numerous flip phones, a laminating machine, color printers, numerous flash drives, credit card readers and scanners, blank checks, boxes of identification holograms used to make driver’s licenses in fourteen states, three Dominican passports in the names of other individuals, numerous blank credit cards with chips, and numerous other items commonly used in the creation of fraudulent identification documents and access devices. 

According to information presented to the court, during the course of the investigation Rodriguez-Castro’s fingerprints were found on credit card skimming machines in at least two states outside of Rhode Island.

Juan Jose Rodriguez-Castro pleaded guilty on January 20, 2020, to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and possession of unauthorized access devices. He was sentenced today by U.S. District Court Chief Judge John J. McConnell, Jr. to 41 months in federal prison to be followed to three years’ supervised release, and to pay $1,281,376 in restitution to the banks that were defrauded.

Wilbred Armando Reyes-Castro pleaded guilty on December 9, 2019, to aggravated identity theft. He was sentenced on March 12, 2020, to a term of 24 months incarceration.

The sentences are announced by United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman, Pawtucket Police Chief Tina Goncalves, and Craig A. Marech, Resident Agent in Charge of the Providence Office of the United States Secret Service.

The cases were prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Lee H. Vilker.

The matter was investigated by the Pawtucket Police Department and the United States Secret Service, with the assistance of Homeland Security Investigations.

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Contact

Jim Martin
(401) 709-5357

Updated June 23, 2020

Topic
Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 20-75