Suspects face 103 counterfeit credit card charges
Detectives added 103 charges to a group of four men arrested last week for using counterfeit credit cards.
The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office arrested Mickenson Desir, Ricardy Multidor, Shnyder Rouzar, and Vladimir Saint-Hilaire last week after the group fraudulently purchased thousands of dollars worth of merchandise during two trips to the Mall at University Town Center.
"To put it in perspective, in two hours worth of work for them, they had over $10,000 worth of fraud," Detective Carlos Verdoni said. "In the five days we think they've been here, it's over $27,000."
Verdoni believes the group may be part of a larger organized ring operating out of Miami.
On June 19, a store clerk noticed suspicious activity and notified law enforcement.
Four days later, a Tactical Team confirmed the fraudulent activity and watched as the group illegally bought more merchandise, investigators said.
Once arrested, detectives found 23 counterfeit credit cards.
"These cards were manufactured. The names that came up on it when they asked for ID, matched the ID that was presented," Det. Verdoni said.
Investigators say groups like these use relatively inexpensive credit card embossing machines to change to names on the cards. Once that is complete, they use credit card readers to program stolen identities into the magnetic strip on the back of the card.
That way if a store clerk asks for a form of identification to complete the purchase, the name on the card matches the name on an ID card.
"So when the receipt comes out, it'll come out in the bad guy's name but in reality that credit card number belongs to somebody else," Det. Verdoni said.
According to the sheriff's office, there are more than 100 victims. They are all Capital One customers from all over the country.
Verdoni said it's unclear how the suspects obtained all of the identities.