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10/27/2021

Long-Time Fugitive Sentenced To 51 Months In Prison For Scheme To Steal 94,000 Debit And Credit Cards From Michaels’ Stores In 19 States

US Attorney's Office District of New Jersey

CAMDEN, N.J. – A California man was sentenced today to 51 months in prison for his role in a conspiracy to steal 94,000 credit and debit cards from customers at approximately 80 Michaels’ Stores in 19 states and to then use that information to make fraudulent withdrawals from the bank accounts of those customers, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.

Jose Salazar, aka “Tito,” 45, of Riverside, California, previously pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Joseph H. Rodriguez to Count 1 of an indictment charging him with conspiracy to commit bank fraud. Judge Rodriguez imposed the sentence by videoconference today.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Salazar and his conspirators installed devices that acquired customers’ bank account and personal identification number (PIN) information on point of sale (POS) terminals at stores operated by Michaels. The stolen account information was used to produce counterfeit bank cards, which were used with the stolen PINs to withdraw funds from the compromised bank accounts.

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