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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Ohio

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Grand Jury Indicts Four Brazilian Men in ATM Skimming Conspiracy

DAYTON – A federal grand jury has charged four men from Brazil with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, through “ATM skimming,” in an indictment returned here today. ATM skimming is a process that allows thieves to obtain cardholders’ personal identification information.

Benjamin C. Glassman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Yvonne DiCristoforo, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Secret Services and members of the Miami Valley Bulk Smuggling Task Force announced the charges.

According to court documents, in January 2018, Dayton law enforcement officials observed defendants conducting suspicious activity, which led them to conduct further surveillance of the group. Investigators discovered three laptop computers, a magnetic stripe credit card encoder and more than 400 counterfeit credit cards in possession of the defendants in the Miller Lane vicinity of Dayton.

The indictment details that the men rented vehicles in South Florida and traveled throughout various states, including North Carolina, New York, Ohio, Illinois and Michigan.

While traveling, they received FedEx packages from South Florida that contained hundreds of counterfeit American Express, Master Card and Visa credit cards with pre-embossed alias names like “Richard Martin” and “Felipe Mello.”  The defendants then encoded information onto the magnetic strips on the counterfeit cards.

The defendants would also secretly install ATM skimming devices and pinhole cameras on commercial ATMs, it is alleged, in order to scan and obtain account names and numbers from unsuspecting credit and debit card holders.

The co-conspirators would allegedly use their counterfeit credit cards to buy clothing, luggage, watches, jewelry, electronics, hotel accommodations, food, rental cars and other associated travel expenses.

They shipped some of the items back to their South Florida counterparts, who in-turn would re-sell them on the internet.

The four defendants – Ricardo C. De Andrade, 38, Sandro L. Trancoso Da Silva, 40, Diego M. Dacosta, 31, and Leonardo W. Targino, 19 – were charged by criminal complaint and arrested last month.

U.S. Attorney Glassman commended the investigation of this case by the U.S. Secret Service and Miami Valley Bulk Smuggling Task Force, as well as Assistant United States Attorney Dwight Keller, who is prosecuting the case.

An indictment merely contains allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.

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Financial Fraud
Updated February 27, 2018