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Press Release

Cuban National Pleads Guilty To Bank Fraud

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of New York

CONTACT:      Barbara Burns
PHONE:         (716) 843-5817
FAX:            (716) 551-3051
BUFFALO, N.Y. – U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Claudia Diaz Diaz, 22, a Cuban National, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge Richard J. Arcara, to conspiracy to commit bank fraud. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a fine of $1,000,000.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Russell T. Ippolito, Jr., who is handling the case, stated that Diaz fraudulently obtained the credit/debit card numbers of actual people and then encoded counterfeit cards with the information illegally obtained. The defendant then used the counterfeit cards to purchase merchandise at retail stores in the area, including a Tops Market in Amherst, NY and a CVS Pharmacy in Buffalo, NY. Diaz obtained the information associated with approximately 79 credit and debit card accounts at various financial institutions.     

Five other Cuban Nationals, Eduardo Quinones Hernandez, Yasser Carrillo Chartrand, Yaily Santurio Milian, Misael Toledo Rios, and Jose Valdivia Quinones are also charged in this scheme to defraud involving counterfeit debit cards. Hernandez, Quinones and Rios have been convicted, charges are pending against Chartrand and Milian. The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.  

Today’s plea is the result of an investigation by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James C. Spero, the U.S. Secret Service, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge C. Todd Laster, and the New York State Police, under the direction of Major Michael Cerretto. 

Sentencing is scheduled for February 18, 2015 at 12:30 p.m. before Judge Arcara.

Updated November 13, 2015