SAN JUAN, P.R – On May 9, 2017, a federal grand jury in the District of Puerto Rico returned a 49-count superseding indictment charging 22 individuals with conspiracy to commit identity theft, aggravated identity theft, and counterfeit access device, announced United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico, Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez. The United States Secret Service (USSS) and the U.S. Postal Inspectors are conducting the investigation.
According to the indictment, the object of the conspiracy was to steal the names, bank account numbers and debit or credit card numbers and other means of identification of customers at retail businesses located in and around San Juan, Puerto Rico to enrich themselves and for financial gain and profit. The members of the conspiracy acted as “card skimmers,” using a card skimming device to obtain the names, numbers, and any other identifying information necessary to further the conspiracy.
The defendants would use the skimmer to create fake debit, credit, bank, money, or gift cards to use for transactions for cash, goods, or services. Then they would use the fake debit, credit, bank, money, or gift cards to make cash withdrawals from Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs), purchase money orders, and purchase goods, and services. The loss to financial institutions affected is over $280,000.
The defendants are: Roy Moreno-Negrón, José Calderón-Campos, Edwin R. López-Colón, Miguel González-Marichal, A.K.A. “Kevin,” A.K.A. “Mecha Corta,” Luis Torres Cirilo, A.K.A. “Luis Piña,” A.K.A. “Luigi,” A.K.A. “Rosario,” A.K.A. “Aurelio Chacorta,” Juan Carlos Santiago-Calderón, Yadiely Vázquez-Medina, Adriana Calero-Estades, Edward Santiago-González, Ameliangie M. Graciani-Ramos, Ángel Yadier Esquilin-Cruz, Christopher Rivera-Pérez, Dijeiry Flores, Johana María Rivera-Aguayo, Jorge Luis Vaello-Marquez, Ángel Luna-Guerrero, A.K.A. “Angelito Barber,” Abraham Cruz-Semprit, A.K.A. “Bam Bam,”  Michael Soto-Rodríguez, A.K.A. “Chal Soto,” Gustavo Mojica-Moreno, Jean Carlos Lebrón-Falcón, Elvin José Castellano, A.K.A. “Enanito Antonio,” A.K.A. “Menor Cupey,” and Javier Delbrey Negrón. The leader of the conspiracy, Moreno-Negrón is also facing one count for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
“Law enforcement will not stand by as criminals attempt to disrupt our lives, steal our savings, and ravage our credit, said Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, U.S. Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico. “I urge everyone to take steps to protect their personally identifiable information from criminals who seek illicit profits through stolen identity fraud.”
USSS Resident Agent in Charge Carlos Colón stated: “This case highlights the Secret Service’s investigative skills and our commitment to collaborate with our law enforcement partners in detecting and dismantling sophisticated criminal organizations. These crimes can have a detrimental impact to our nation’s critical financial infrastructure. Financial fraud is one of the largest challenges facing American citizens and businesses today. The United States Secret Service will continue to collaborate with its law enforcement partners to target and arrest individuals who commit this type of fraud.”
“Roy Moreno and his codefendants victimized the citizens of San Juan for their own personal financial gain. These arrests are a fitting end to their scheme. U.S. Postal Inspectors, and our law enforcement partners are sending a strong message that we will tirelessly work to protect the American public from predators like Moreno. Congratulations to the agents, detectives, and Inspectors who brought this group to justice,” said Jim Buthorn, Inspector in Charge, Newark Division/San Field Office.
If convicted, the defendants face maximum penalty of 15 years in prison for the conspiracy to commit identity theft, two years mandatory for the aggravated identity theft, and a maximum of 10 years for the counterfeit access device charge.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Edward Veronda. An indictment contains only allegations. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.