SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – A foreign national was sentenced to three years in a U.S. federal prison after pleading guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Bank Fraud and Aggravated Identity Theft in a gas skimming scheme that took place in Utah and Idaho.
Yofre Napoleon Almonte, 49, a Salt Lake City resident was ordered to pay $199,122.18 in restitution, jointly and severally with his co-defendants by a United States District Court Judge.
According to court documents, Almonte, participated in a scheme to defraud gas station customers and their banks using skimming equipment to surreptitiously steal the customers’ credit card information. Unlike traditional “skimming” operations that use an “overlay” type of molding placed on top of the ATM or gas pump targeted for “skimming,” Almonte and his alleged co-defendants used a Bluetooth wireless device that is installed onto the computer motherboard of the internal computer that controls the ATM/gas pump. The defendants could then initiate a wireless Bluetooth connection and download all the digital credit card/ATM card information sored by the device. Almonte and others then created cloned cards with stolen information and used those cards to fraudulently purchase over $200,000 worth of gasoline and other items.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys, Aaron Clark and Ruth Hackford-Peer, for the District of Utah prosecuted the case. The case was investigated by the FBI Salt Lake City Field Division.