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Monday, December 18, 2017

Miami man pleads guilty to bank fruad conspiracy

All WNY News     Monday, December 18, 2017    

STAFF REPORTS



BUFFALO -- Yordani Ramirez Salgado, 28, of Miami, Florida, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud before Chief U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci, Jr. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul E. Bonanno, who is handling the case, stated that on January 18, 2017, the defendant and co-conspirators Ernesto Alvarez Santos and Abel Garcia Fernandez, flew from Miami, Florida to Hartford, Connecticut. After arriving in Connecticut, Salgado and Santos rented a car and drove to Hamburg, NY where they re-united with Fernandez. In Hamburg, Fernandez provided the defendant and Santos with numerous counterfeit access devices including gift cards re-encoded with account numbers for actual credit card or debit card accounts at various financial institutions.

Between January 23, and January 24, 2017, Salgado and Santos used 129 different counterfeit access devices to purchase gift cards at various Walmart stores in Erie, Niagara, and Orleans Counties. Upon purchasing the legitimate Walmart gift cards, the defendants transmitted the legitimate gift card numbers by cellular telephone to another co-conspirator. In addition, Salgado and Santos possessed an additional 102 different counterfeit access devices, which consisted of gift cards re-encoded with account numbers for actual credit card or debit card accounts at various financial institutions.  The account holders of these credit card or debit card accounts did not authorize use of their credit card or debit card account information. The total estimated loss amount is $120,689.02.

Ernesto Alvarez Santos has previously been convicted and sentenced.

The plea is the result of an investigation by the United States Secret Service, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Lewis Robinson.

Sentencing is scheduled for March 5, 2018, before Chief Judge Geraci.

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