BENTON - This morning, in federal court in Benton, IL, Eriberto Ricardo Gomez (42) and Yasmanis L. Oduardo Fonseco (27) both pled guilty to possession of fifteen or more stolen account numbers and aggravated identity theft, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Donald S. Boyce, announced. Ricardo Gomez and Oduardo Fonseco, who are both originally from the country of Cuba, are currently residing in Houston, Texas

The stolen account numbers were discovered by an officer of the Caseyville, Illinois, Police Department on October 8, 2015, during a traffic stop on I-70 in Madison County. At that time, Ricardo Gomez and Oduardo Fonseco had in their possession over 100 gift cards. The magnetic strips on 19 of these gift cards had been re-encoded with account numbers registered to customers of a financial institution in the state of Pennsylvania. During their plea hearings this morning, both Ricardo Gomez and Oduardo Fonseco acknowledged that they used these gift cards to make fraudulent purchases as stores located in Arkansas and Manchester, MO.

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The sentencing hearing for both Ricardo Gomez and Oduardo Fonseco are scheduled for March 2, 2017. The charge of possession of 15 or more stolen account numbers is punishable by up to 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and three years of supervised release. The aggravated identity theft charge carries a mandatory sentence of 2 years in prison, which must be served consecutively with any prison sentence imposed for the stolen account number charge.

The investigation is being conducted by the Springfield Division, Fairview Heights Resident Agency, of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”). The Caseyville and Pontoon Beach Police Departments are assisting in the investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Scott A. Verseman.

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