S. Fla. Men Accused Of Using Fraudulent Credit Cards
Police: 93 Credit Cards Found In Men's Vehicle
STUART, Fla. -- Two Miami-Dade County men were arrested Tuesday, accused of using fraudulent credit and gift cards at Martin County grocery stores.
Javier Jimenez Estevez, 40, of Miami, and 22-year-old Antonio Miranda Fonte, of Hialeah, were arrested Tuesday after a traffic stop near a Publix store in the 3300 block of Southeast Federal Highway in Stuart.
The Martin County Sheriff's Office said a worker at the store called police to report that the men were trying to buy cigarettes using fraudulent credit cards.
A deputy arrived, and an employee pointed out the suspects' vehicle. The officer pulled the men over, searched the car and found 93 credit cards inside, according to the sheriff's office.
Police said officers also found receipts for purchases at two other Publix stores in Palm City, which investigators later found also were made with fraudulent credit cards.
Estevez and Fonte face charges of theft and obtaining credit cards through fraudulent means. According to an arrest affidavit, the suspects are being held without bond because police could not verify their identities. Police said Fonte gave them a Social Security number belonging to a female and that Estevez has several aliases.
In the age of identity theft, police agencies are cracking down on credit card theft. Being in possession of a stolen or fraudulent credit card is a third-degree felony in the State of Florida, punishable by a maximum of 5 years in state prison. Every stolen or fraudulent credit card can count as 1 charge. So if these gentlemen were allegedly in possession of 93 stolen cards, they are facing 465 years on those charges alone!
If the cards are allegedly used, additional charges of grand theft can be filed. The severity of the grand theft charge depends on the amount of money allegedly charged on the card.
To learn more about the degrees of grand theft in the State of Florida, click here.
I am a former Miami-Dade prosecutor who has handled hundreds of credit card fraud cases.
As a criminal defense attorney practicing in Miami-Dade County and Broward County, I now fight to protect the rights of people accused of theft and theft-related crimes.
If you or someone you know has been charged with credit card theft, call me to discuss the case. I can consult with you on the phone, or in person by appointment. All of my consultations are free and confidential.