FL: Two Sentenced in ID Theft and Credit Card Scheme Involving Flanigan’s Customers

Jose Cruz, 28, and Lisandra Cruz, 19, both of Hialeah, Florida were sentenced yesterday in federal court to 75 months and 48 months in prison, respectively. A co-defendant, Yuremys Marchante, 30, also of Hialeah, was sentenced to 57 months in prison on April 19, 2011.

All three defendants were convicted at trial on charges of conspiracy to commit access device fraud, unauthorized use of access devices, and aggravated identity theft. A fourth defendant, Alexis Toledo, was sentenced on April 8, 2011, after pleading guilty. All of the defendants have been ordered to pay restitution in an amount to be determined at a later hearing.

According to evidence presented at trial, between April 30, 2010 and May 29, 2010, Cruz and Marchante recruited Toledo to skim credit card numbers from customers at a Flanigan’s restaurant in Hialeah, where Toledo was employed. The stolen credit card numbers were then later used by Cruz and Marchante to make dozens of fraudulent purchases from a Target store in Miami Gardens, where Lisandra Cruz, Jose’s sister, worked as a cashier. The transactions were recorded on video.

At yesterday’s hearing, U.S. District Judge Jose E. Martinez concluded that defendants Jose Cruz and Yuremys Marchante were each responsible for a loss amount between $120,000 and $200,000, in fraud and also imposed a two-level increase in determining their sentencing guidelines, after finding that both were leaders and organizers of the conspiracy.

According to the indictment, it appears that they were charged with misusing two customers’ credit card numbers, but a proffer of proof with respect the former Flanigan’s employee suggests that 85 customers’ card numbers may have been skimmed by the employee over a period of approximately one month – she was reportedly paid $1700 after agreeing to $20/card number skimmed.

I cannot find any previous reference to a breach involving Flanigan’s and am curious as to whether or when customers were notified that their numbers had been skimmed.  The two whose numbers are listed in the charges/indictment clearly knew their numbers had been misused, but did anyone notify the other customers?  If so, who – and when?

Source: United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida and court records obtained from PACER.

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