Twelve People Indicted Installing Credit-Card Skimmers on Gas Pumps in Five States and Stealing Account Information from Thousands
Twelve people were charged in a 26-count indictment for their roles in a conspiracy to install credit-card skimmers on gas pumps in at least five states, including several locations in Northeast Ohio, and steal credit-card account information from thousands of people.
Named in the indictment are: Ranset Rodriguez, 40, of Miami; Yaniris Alfonso, 31, of Miami; Jose Manuel Iglesias, 51, of West New York, New Jersey.; Juan Carlos Banos, 58, of Parma, Ohio; Carlos Rodriguez Martinez, 42, of Aurora, Colorado; Lester Enrique Castaneda, 39, of Hialeah, Florida; Edelberto Hernandez, 46, of Kiowa, Colorado; Eddy Pimentel-Vila, 45, of Jersey City, New Jersey; Luis Enrique Jimenez Gonzales, 27, of Hialeah, Florida; Yonasky Rosa, 34, of Tampa; Yadian Quesada-Hernandez, 31, of Tampa and Alejandro Moises, 52, of Miami.
The indictment charges that the defendants conspired to install skimmers on point-of-sale terminals inside of gas pumps located in Ohio, Colorado, Maryland, Utah and elsewhere between August 2014 and July 2017.
The defendants then re-encoded the stolen credit/debit card account information, including the actual account holders’ names, onto counterfeit credit cards, which were used to fraudulently purchase gift cards, merchandise, goods and services in Ohio and elsewhere, according to the indictment.
The defendants traveled from Florida to install the skimmers and worked together to distract gas station employees and/or obstruct their view while the skimmers were covertly installed. Skimmers were discovered on gas pumps in Rocky River, Solon, Stow, Hudson, Fairview Park, Medina, Cleveland, Canton, Cuyahoga Falls, Norton, Austintown and elsewhere, according to the indictment.
“This group stole credit card information from thousands of people all over Northeast Ohio just looking to fill up their gas tanks and continue on their way,” U.S. Attorney Justin E. Herdman said. “Instead, these victims had their personal information taken and used to make fraudulent credit cards, which this group in turn used to steal merchandise.”
“This sophisticated, multistate criminal enterprise stole credit card numbers from innocent folks putting gas in their cars,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Stephen D. Anthony. “These individuals, now in custody, caused financial difficulties for numerous everyday citizens, and for this, they will be held accountable.”
“This case is a complex investigation that involves suspects from multiple states that targeted innocent people from Northern Ohio and around the country stealing their personal and financial information,” said Secret Service Special Agent in Charge Jonathan Schuck. “The success of today’s arrests are due to the great collaboration of multiple law enforcement agencies working together.”
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Megan R. Miller and Robert W. Kern are prosecuting the case following an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Secret Service and the Boulder County (Colorado) Sheriff’s Office.
If convicted, the defendants’ sentences will be determined by the court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendants’ prior criminal records, if any, the defendants’ role in the offenses, and the characteristics of the violation. In all cases, the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases it will be less than the maximum.
An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial, in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.