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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of New York

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Six Cuban Citizens Indicted For Credit Card Fraud

CONTACT: Barbara Burns              
PHONE:           (716) 843-5817
FAX:              (716) 551-3051

BUFFALO, N.Y.—U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that a federal grand jury has returned four indictments charging Eduardo Hernandez Quinones, 46, Yasser Carrillo Chartrand, 23, Claudia Diaz Diaz, 21, Yaily Santurio Millian, 31, Jose Valdivia Quinones, 40 and Misael Toledo Rios, 39, all citizens of Cuba legally present in the United States, with fraud charges.

Hernandez, Chartrand, Santurio and Diaz are charged with conspiracy to commit bank fraud, access device fraud and aggravated identity theft. Valdivia and Toldeo are charged with bank fraud, access device fraud and aggravated identity theft. The charges for all six defendants carry a mandatory minimum penalty of two years in prison, a maximum penalty of 30 years, and a fine of $1,000,000.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Russell T. Ippolito, Jr., who is handling the case, stated that according to the indictment, the defendants are accused of fraudulently obtaining the actual credit/debit card numbers of people and then encoding counterfeit cards with the information illegally obtained. The defendants then used the counterfeit cards to purchase merchandise at retail stores throughout Western New York. In addition, some of the defendants used the counterfeit cards to purchase gasoline from area gas stations and then re-sold the gasoline for cash.

Four of the defendants, Hernandez, Chartrand, Santurio and Diaz, were recently arrested in DeWitt, NY, near Syracuse, and are facing state fraud charges for similar conduct.

Defendants Chartrand, Hernandez, Quinones, and Santurio were arraigned today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Hugh B. Scott and are being held pending a detention hearing on March 25, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. Defendants Rios and Valdivia Quinones were released on conditions.

The indictments are 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.

The fact that a defendant has been charged in an indictment is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

Updated March 19, 2015