A Miami, Fla., woman has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and now faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison.
Yordani Ramirez Salgado, 28, who stood before Chief U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci Jr. Friday, admitted to conspiring with two others to use 129 counterfeit access devices to purchase gift cards at various Walmart stories in Erie, Niagara and Orleans counties.
According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul E. Bonanno, on Jan. 18, Ramierz Salgado and co-conspirators Ernesto Alvarez Santos and Abel Garcia Fernandez flew from Miami to Hartford, Conn. There, Salgado and Santos rented a car and drove to Hamburg where they re-united with Fernandez. In Hamburg, Fernandez provided Ramirez Salgado and Santos with numerous counterfeit access devices, including gift cards re-encoded with account numbers for active credit card or debit card accounts at various financial institutions.
Upon purchasing the legitimate Walmart gift cards, the trio transmitted the legitimate gift card numbers by cell phone to another co-conspirator. Authorities said 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 to the banks amounts to $120,689.
Santos has already been convicted and sentenced in the case.