Two credit card fraudsters, Dayron Gonzalez, age 26, and Felipe Perez, age 28, both of Miami, Florida, were sentenced for conspiring to use counterfeit credit cards. Gonzalez pleaded guilty to the charge on March 8, 2018, and Perez pleaded guilty to the same charge on March 2, 2018.
Both Gonzalez and Perez, along with co-defendant Suset Bustillo, conspired with each other and with Alejandro Arias to profit from the use of counterfeit credit cards. Arias skimmed credit card account numbers from unsuspecting gas station customers, and used the account numbers to create counterfeit credit cards. Gonzalez, Perez, and Bustillo then purchased high-priced items with the credit cards at retailers throughout the United States, and resold the items for significant profit. Retailers and banks across the country suffered losses of at least $180,000.
Judge Peterson sentenced Perez to 20 months in prison, giving him credit for 16 months of previously discharged prison time served in Montana, Nebraska, and Minnesota. The entire 36 months was near the top of the advisory guideline range. Judge Peterson stated that he wanted to demonstrate to the public that profiting from stolen credit card numbers will be taken seriously. Judge Peterson sentenced Gonzalez to three years of probation because of his minimal role in the conspiracy.
Bustillo was sentenced on May 25, 2018 to a 24-month prison term, and Arias was sentenced by U.S. District Judge William M. Conley in a related credit-card skimming case to nine years in prison.