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Press Release

Fraudster Heads to Prison for Counterfeit Money and Other Charges

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

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A 43-year-old Corpus Christi man has been ordered to federal prison for counterfeiting U.S. currency, credit card fraud and aggravated identity theft, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. Arturo Garcia pleaded guilty Nov. 18, 2016.


At a sentencing hearing today, U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos ordered Garcia to serve a total of 24 months for each for the counterfeiting and credit card fraud convictions, to be served concurrently. In addition, he was ordered to serve a mandatory 24 months for the identity theft that must be served consecutively to the other sentence imposed. His total 48-month-term will be immediately followed by three years of supervised release. In determining Garcia’s sentence, Judge Ramos concluded that through his schemes, Garcia had victimized at least 128 people. Restitution will be determined at a later date.


During early 2015, a number of large apartment complexes in the Corpus Christi area were suffering from regular mail thefts at the community cluster mailboxes. Apartment residents reported that checks and credit cards were stolen from their mail were and used to defraud local merchants.


Authorities began an investigation and observed Garcia breaking into an apartment cluster mail box on April 17, 2015. The agent was unable to apprehend Garcia at that time, but recovered a firearm Garcia dropped as he fled. He was later identified on video surveillance at a pawn shop buying jewelry with a credit card in another person’s name which had been stolen from the mail.


On Feb. 29, 2016, authorities executed an arrest warrant for Garcia at a residence in Corpus Christi. At that time, they discovered a large quantity of stolen mail and a counterfeit currency printing operation within the residence. The investigation determined Garcia had been printing counterfeit money for more than six months and passing the fake bills in the Corpus Christi area.


The U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Secret Service conducted the investigation with assistance of the U.S. Marshals Service and the Corpus Christi Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert D. Thorpe Jr. is prosecuting the case.

Updated March 2, 2017

Financial Fraud
Identity Theft