Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Texas
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, January 21, 2016
Cuban National Sent to Prison for Role in $200k Credit Card Fraud Scheme
McALLEN, Texas – A Cuban citizen who was residing in McAllen has been ordered to federal prison for trafficking in access devices, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. Alexis Acosta-Guzman, 40, pleaded guilty Nov. 3, 2015.
Today, U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez, who accepted the guilty plea, handed Acosta-Guzman a 100-month sentence. He was further ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $211,311.15 to five financial institutions that absorbed the loss of more than 1,000 victims. In handing down the sentence, Judge Alvarez noted that the defendant had prior similar criminal conduct. Not a U.S. citizen, he is expected to face deportation proceedings following his release from prison.
From March 2013 through August 2015, Acosta-Guzman wired thousands of dollars in funds to individuals in China, Russia and the Ukraine. In return, he received more than 1,000 credit card numbers and other personal information that had been stolen from individuals in the United States. Acosta-Guzman transferred that information to others using various email accounts.
He and co-conspirators would then use special devices and the stolen information to create physical credit cards. They used the fraudulent credit cards to make purchases throughout Texas at different retailers and convenience stores.
As a result of the scheme, hundreds of people lost more than $211,000 for the fraudulent charges.
He will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
The charges are the result of an investigation conducted by the Secret Service, FBI and the McAllen Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys David A. Lindenmuth and Joseph T. Leonard prosecuted the case.