A man who pleaded guilty to his involvement in a multimillion dollar international counterfeit credit card fraud and money laundering conspiracy was sentenced today to 97 months in federal prison to be followed by three years of supervised release, announced United States Attorney Nicholas A. Trutanich for the District of Nevada.
Bruno Macedo Correia, 29, pleaded guilty in July 2019, to conspiracy to commit fraud and related activity in connection with access devices and conspiracy to commit money laundering. In addition to imprisonment, United States District Judge Jennifer A. Dorsey ordered Correia to pay restitution in the amount of $2,288,180.97. The Court also imposed a $5,000,000 criminal forfeiture money judgment, and ordered 196 items of property and U.S. currency forfeited.
Correia admitted that, from January 2013 to about January 2017, he conspired with others to commit credit and debit card fraud by using “skimmers” placed on automatic teller machines (ATMs), Global Cash Advance (GCA) machines, and other means to obtain stolen account information. The group also obtained stolen credit card information through the use of malware and point of sale intrusions. Correia and his co-conspirators set-up credit card forgery “laboratories” in residences and hotel rooms to manufacture counterfeit credit and debit cards. They used the counterfeit credit and debit cards to obtain cash withdrawals from ATMs and GCA machines located in Nevada and elsewhere and also to purchase high-end merchandise including luxury watches, jewelry, and clothing at hotel-casinos and businesses in Las Vegas, Nevada and other cities throughout the United States, including: Del Mar, California; Detroit, Michigan; New Orleans, Louisiana; Nassau County, New York; Biloxi, Mississippi; and Atlantic City, New Jersey. The group laundered the fraud proceeds and resold the fraudulently obtained retail items on the black market or online marketplaces.
Twenty-one individuals were charged in a 2017 indictment for their alleged roles in the conspiracy. To date, 12 defendants have pleaded guilty or have been sentenced. Co-defendants Fausto Teixeira Martins Neto and Felipe Augusto Vicale Martins are currently scheduled for a jury trial beginning in January 2020. The remaining seven indicted defendants are currently at large. The charges as to these defendants are allegations only and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
The case was investigated by the FBI, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, the Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service, and the Henderson Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Patrick Burns is prosecuting the case.