Gas pump skimmer suspects sentenced

(Cleveland) - Ten people were sentenced to prison for their roles in a conspiracy to install credit-card skimmers on gas pumps in at least five states, including several locations in Northeast Ohio, and steal account information from thousands of people.

Prosecutors say the skimmers were discovered on gas pumps in Rocky River, Solon, Stow, Hudson, Fairview Park, Medina, Cleveland, Canton, Cuyahoga Falls, Norton, Austintown and elsewhere,

Investigators report, the skimmers were operational between August 2014 and July 2017. The defendants then re-encoded the stolen credit/debit card account information was stolen, and used on counterfeit cards. Two suspects charged in the scam remain at large, including 59 year old Juan Banos of Parma. 

“This group stole credit card information from thousands of people all over Northeast Ohio just looking to fill up their gas tanks and continue on their way,” U.S. Attorney Justin E. Herdman said. “Instead, these victims had their personal information taken and used to make fraudulent credit cards, which this group in turn used to steal merchandise.”

“This sophisticated, multistate criminal enterprise stole credit card numbers from innocent folks putting gas in their cars,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Stephen D. Anthony. “These individuals, now in prison, caused financial difficulties for numerous everyday citizens, and for this, they are being held accountable.”

(Photos by Ken Robinson/WTAM)

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