DALLAS — Roberto Carlos Puebla
Saavedra, 32, originally from Cuba, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge
Sidney A. Fitzwater to 60 months in federal prison and ordered to pay
$408,596.46 in restitution for his role in a conspiracy involving fraudulent
purchases in North Texas using counterfeit bank cards, announced U.S. Attorney
John Parker of the Northern District of Texas.
Saavedra pleaded guilty in June 2017 to one
count of conspiracy to produce, use, or traffic a counterfeit access
device. He has been in custody since the time of his arrest in July 2016.
According to documents filed in the case, from at least August 2014 through
July 2016, Saavedra, along with his co-defendants, obtained lists of
credit and debit card numbers belonging to other individuals online. They
used the card information to create counterfeit bank cards using devices to
encode the cards with the fraudulently obtained account information. The
defendants went to various retail stores and purchased prepaid gift cards and shopping
cards with the counterfeit cards. The defendants then took those
purchased prepaid gift cards and shopping cards to other stores and purchased
items, including other gift cards, to further launder the illegally obtained
scheme was discovered after an investigator from JPMorgan Chase observed a
large volume of fraudulent transactions being made with unauthorized JPMorgan
Chase debit card numbers at Walmart stores in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex
area. JPMorgan Chase’s investigator worked with Walmart investigators to
collect surveillance footage and conduct surveillance of the defendants
engaging in the fraudulent transactions.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Secret
Service and the Plano Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jamie
L. Hoxie and Shane Read prosecuted.