A massive illegal credit card scheme in Florida has been shut down and eighteen people arrested, but not after victims suffered millions of dollars in damages.
The operation involved stealing credit card account numbers throughout the United States, mostly by skimmers at gas stations, and then sending those numbers to a Miami facility where counterfeit credit cards were made, according to a news release from the U.S. State Attorney’s Office Southern District of Florida.
People were then sent out to make purchases using those cards, while some of the cards were taken back to the states where the numbers were stolen and used there.
The operation was capable of producing up to 1,000 counterfeit credit cards a day, the release stated.
The joint investigation involved multiple law enforcement agencies including the U.S. Secret Service, the Miami Dade Police Organized Crime Section and the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.
The arrests were made during the week of Nov. 13 when search warrants were executed mainly throughout Miami, but also included locations in West Palm Beach, Orlando and Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Jaime Fernandez Del Pino, 27, of Miami; Julio Arjona Gomez, 50, of Miami Gardens; and Dayan Borges, 29, of Doral, were charged by federal criminal complaint with conspiracy to commit access device fraud in connection with the scheme. Another 15 defendants have been charged by the Miami-Dade County State Attorney’s Office.
During the execution of the warrants, officials also recovered hundreds of gas pump skimmers, 50,000 blank credit card stock used to make cards, thousands of fake credit cards, 70 marijuana plants and 27 pounds of marijuana.
Read the full news release here.