Men sentenced for possession of fake credit cards

More than $9,000 in credit card proceeds stolen using scheme

LAFAYETTE, La. – United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced today that Jose Antonio Abreu-Arbolaez, 38, of Cuba, and Yoany Quesada-Romero, 29, of Tampa, Fla., were sentenced by U.S. District Judge Elizabeth E. Foote to each serve 10 months in prison and one year of supervised release for conspiracy to possess more than 15 counterfeit credit cards.

Documents filed into the court record during the guilty plea state that while traveling from Florida to Louisiana on Sept. 26, 2012 to Sept. 28, 2012, Abreu-Arbolaez and Quesada-Romero used counterfeit credit cards to purchase Wal-Mart gift cards. On Sept. 28, 2012, security at a Lafayette Wal-Mart contacted authorities and advised them that Abreu-Arbolaez and Quesada-Romero were using stolen or counterfeit credit cards to purchase Wal-Mart gift cards in and around the Lafayette area.

Both were arrested Sept. 28, 2012, in the parking lot of Wal-Mart on West Pinhook Road in Lafayette. During a search of their minivan, 34 counterfeit credit cards displaying Abreu-Arbolaez’s name and 17 fake cards displaying Quesada-Romero’s name were found. The magnetic strips on the back of the counterfeit cards contained information related to real financial institutions that were improperly charged $9,729 for the Wal-Mart gift cards purchased by the defendants. The defendants pleaded guilty March 14, 2013.

“These defendants defrauded private citizens, financial institutions, and a retail business,” Finley said. “We will prosecute anyone who illegally uses other people’s credit to enrich themselves. I want to thank the company’s security personnel and the agencies involved for assisting in bringing the defendants to justice.”

The U.S. Secret Service and the Lafayette Police Department conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Howard C. Parker prosecuted the case.

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