Ten Defendants Involved with Multi-State Identity Theft Ring Indicted for Credit Card Fraud and Money Laundering
Benjamin G. Greenberg, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; Mark Selby, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI), Miami Field Office; and Angel M. Melendez, Special Agent in Charge, ICE-HSI, New York Field Office, announce that a federal grand jury in the Southern District of Florida returned an indictment, on April 6, 2018, charging ten people with offenses including conspiracy to commit access device fraud (credit card fraud), trafficking in counterfeit access devices, use of one or more unauthorized access devices, possession of fifteen or more unauthorized access devices, aggravated identity theft, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and money laundering. This matter is assigned to United States District Court Judge Marcia G. Cooke (Case No. 18-CR-20269).
According to allegations in the indictment, Noe Reina De La Cruz, 27, of Doral, Florida; Raul Gil-Rodriguez, 35, of Paramus, New Jersey; Ney Antonio Lopez De La Cruz, 24, of Doral, Florida; Domingo Reyes, 40, of Doral, Florida; Yousef Michi, 34, of Brooklyn, New York; Esteban Ochoa, 34, of New York; Vantroy Sanchez, 39, of New York, New York; Jeffrey Batista, 27, of New York, New York; Carlos David Franco, 30, of Miami, Florida; and Pedro De La Cruz, 48, of Bronx, New York, used the personal identifying information of other individuals to open credit card accounts without the victims’ knowledge or consent. The conspirators used the fraudulently obtained credit cards to purchase electronics, home goods, expensive designer shoes, travel, spa services, and medical procedures for themselves and others. Some of the conspirators would also resell some of the fraudulently obtained goods, for a percentage of their face value, to Yousef Michi and Carlos David Franco, in order to obtain cash, checks, or wire transfers to Royal Elite Investments Corp., a shell company that Noe Reina De La Cruz controlled.
If convicted of the charged conduct the maximum possible sentences are as follows: conspiracy to commit access device fraud is 5 years in prison; conspiracy to commit money laundering is 20 years in prison; trafficking in counterfeit access devices is ten years in prison; use of one or more unauthorized access devices is ten years in prison; possession of fifteen or more unauthorized access devices is ten years in prison; and the aggravated identity theft charges carry a mandatory term of two years in prison, to run consecutive to the other crimes of conviction.
U.S. Attorney Greenberg commended the investigative efforts of ICE-HSI in this matter. This case is being prosecuted by Southern District of Florida Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lisa H. Miller and Nalina Sombuntham.
An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.