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Press Release

New York Resident Pleads Guilty To Aggravated Identity Theft, Credit Card Fraud

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Rhode Island
Yvener Jean-Baptiste Admits To Using Counterfeit Credit Cards To Purchase More Than

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Yvener Jean-Baptiste, 27, of Brooklyn, N.Y., pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Providence on Monday to using counterfeit credit cards with account numbers belonging to actual credit card owners to purchase $172,661.09 in Target and Wal-Mart store gift cards at Rhode Island stores in November 2013, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha; Ted A. Arruda, Resident Agent in Charge of the Providence Office of the U.S. Secret Service; and Lincoln Police Chief Brian W. Sullivan.

Appearing before U.S. District Court Chief Judge William E. Smith, Jean-Baptiste admitted to the court that on five occasions between November 1 and November 30, 2013, he and others purchased gift cards totaling $172,661.09 at Target stores in Lincoln, at the Warwick Mall and on Bald Hill Road, and at a Wal-Mart store in Warwick, using counterfeit credit cards with actual account numbers belonging to other individuals. The owners of those account numbers were unaware that their personal identifying information was used to produce the counterfeit credit cards.

According to information presented to the court, Jean-Baptiste provided the purchased gift cards to an individual in New York. Jean-Baptiste typically received $200 for every $800 fraudulent transaction he conducted. The investigation revealed that the gift cards were redeemed at stores in New York the same day or the day after being purchased in Rhode Island.

According to information presented to the court, Jean-Baptiste returned to the Target store in Lincoln on November 30, 2013, one day after he and another person purchased $75,894.01 worth of Target gift cards using six counterfeit credit cards. He returned to the store in a vehicle previously identified by a Target employee as being driven by the individuals who committed credit card fraud the previous day. The vehicle was stopped by Lincoln Police. Officers arrested Jean-Baptiste after they discovered ten counterfeit credit cards, a counterfeit driver’s license and multiple Target gift cards inside the vehicle.

Yvener Jean-Baptiste pleaded guilty to one count each of credit card fraud and aggravated identity theft. He is scheduled to be sentenced on December 5, 2014. At sentencing, he faces statutory penalties of a mandatory minimum of two years and up to 12 years in federal prison, and a fine of up to $500,000 or twice the pecuniary gain or loss resulting from the crimes.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lee H. Vilker.

The matter was investigated by the U.S. Secret Service and the Lincoln Police Department


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Updated June 22, 2015