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Press Release

Federal Prison for ID Theft and Credit Card Fraudsters

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Texas

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - Ibrahin Suarez-Venerao, 29, and San Juanita Avalos, 32, both of Corpus Christi, have each been sentenced to more than five years in federal prison for credit card fraud and identity theft, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. Both pleaded guilty to the charges June 15, 2015.

Today, Senior U.S. District Judge John D. Rainey ordered Suarez-Venerao to serve 40 months for the fraud as well as a mandatory and consecutive 24 months for the identity theft. The total 64-month sentence will be immediately followed by three years of supervised release. Judge Rainey had previously sentenced Avalos to 61 months in federal prison – 37 months for the fraud and 24 months for identity theft - followed by three years of supervised release. Both defendants were further ordered to pay $29,551.00 in restitution.

The case began following the receipt of numerous credit card fraud complaints. Investigators with the Corpus Christi Police Department (CCPD) used store surveillance footage and were able to identify Suarez-Venerao and Avalos using counterfeit credit cards to make thousands of dollars in purchases. The purchases were made at area merchants including Wal-Mart and Home Depot. Officers executed a search warrant and discovered a credit card embossing machine, fake identification documents, counterfeit credit cards, more than 300 gift cards worth $5,300 and more than $16,000 in cash. A search of the computers at the residence revealed almost 500 more compromised credit card numbers.  

Both defendants were ordered to remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons Facility.

The charges were the result of an investigation conducted by CCPD and the U.S. Secret Service. Assistant United States Attorney Robert D. Thorpe Jr. prosecuted the cases.

Updated February 22, 2016

Financial Fraud
Identity Theft