A fake credit card factory in a Hialeah condominium capable of cranking out 1,000 pieces of fraudulent plastic per day operated as the foundation of a nationwide scam, according to federal prosecutors.
Miami’s Jaime Fernandez Del Pino, 27, ran the counterfeit factory, according to the criminal complaint. Fernandez Del Pino, along with Miami Gardens’ Julio Arjona Gomez, 50, were charged with conspiracy to commit access device fraud. Also slapped with that charge in federal court: Doral’s Dayan Borges, 29.
Facing fraud charges in Miami-Dade Circuit Court are Isobam Valdes, 41; Osvaldo Rodriguez, 48, who did six months in prison for grand theft in 2015-16; Arian Linares, 34; Michael Eliseo Perez, 32; Jose Ruiz-Diaz, 30; Olivia Lopez, 33; Mara Espinosa, 32; and Juan Carlos Leiva, 48. In Orlando, Alexis Suarez Hernandez, 25, and live-in girlfriend Annarys Diaz Lopez, 33, were charged with use of a scanning device to defraud, and possession of credit card making equipment.
Once cohorts from around the nation stole credit card numbers via websites or skimming devices at gas stations, federal prosecutors say, the stolen numbers would be fed to South Florida, where the fake credit cards would be made. Investigators say those cards were made in Apt. 213 at 1095 W. 77th St., a one-bedroom, one-bathroom condo that the criminal complaint calls the “Hialeah Business.”
In the criminal complaint, investigators say they watched Fernandez Del Pino and Arjona Gomez put the cards in play by giving them to various drones to use in the Miami area or around the nation.
The joint investigation by the U.S. Secret Service — originally under the Department of Treasury as a financial fraud investigative division, now part of Homeland Security — and the Organized Crime Section of the Miami-Dade Police Economic Crimes Bureau, reached its climax earlier this month, around Nov. 13. A total of 15 search warrants were executed in Hialeah, Orlando, West Palm Beach and Colorado Springs.
One of those was inside the Hialeah Business, where, the criminal complaint states, “law enforcement officers found a room dedicated to the manufacture of counterfeit credit cards. In particular, this room contained thousands of counterfeit credit cards, over 50,000 blank credit card plastics, several credit card printers, a magnetic strip encoder, modified gasoline pump skimmer devices, computers, and electronic media storage devices such as USB flash drives. A cursory search of three USB flash drives revealed that they contained various text files created between May and June of 2017 which contained over 50 stolen credit card account numbers.”
Suarez Hernandez’s arrest warrant says the search warrant turned up four skimming devices, a DataCard 150i credit card making machine and fake credit cards throughout their apartment.
This was one of 15 warrant searches executed the week of Nov. 13-17 in Miami-Dade, Orlando, West Palm Beach, and Colorado Springs. The Justice Department says it seized:
Approximately $95,000 cash; nine cars, including a Range Rover, a Mercedes-Benz and a bladder truck that can be used to steal gasoline; “high end” jewelry, including nine watches valued at over $100,000; 70 marijuana plants; and 27 pounds of packaged weed.