New York Resident Sentenced to Federal Prison for Aggravated Identity Theft, Credit Card Fraud in Rhode Island
PROVIDENCE, RI—Yvener Jean-Baptiste, 27, of Brooklyn, was sentenced today to 24 months in federal prison and ordered to pay more than $150,000 in restitution for using counterfeit credit cards with account numbers belonging to actual credit card owners to purchase Target and Wal-Mart store gift cards from stores in Rhode Island in November 2013, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha; Ted A. Arruda, Resident Agent in Charge of the Providence Office of the U.S. Secret Service; and Lincoln Police Chief Brian W. Sullivan.
At sentencing, U.S. District Court Chief Judge William E. Smith also ordered Jean-Baptiste to serve three years’ supervised release upon completion of his prison term and to pay restitution to the retailers in the amount of $158,576. Jean-Baptiste pleaded guilty on September 15, 2014, to one count each of credit card fraud and aggravated identity theft
At the time of his guilty plea, Jean-Baptiste admitted to the court that on five occasions between November 1 and November 30, 2013, he and others purchased gift cards totaling $172,661.09 at Target stores in Lincoln, at the Warwick Mall and on Bald Hill Road, and at a Wal-Mart store in Warwick using counterfeit credit cards with actual account numbers belonging to other individuals. The owners of those account numbers were unaware that their personal identifying information was used to produce counterfeit credit cards.
Jean-Baptiste admitted to the court that he provided the purchased gift cards to an individual in New York and that he typically received $200 for every $800 fraudulent transaction he conducted. The investigation revealed that the gift cards were redeemed at stores in New York the same day or the day after being purchased in Rhode Island.
According to information presented to the court, Jean-Baptiste returned to the Target store in Lincoln on November 30, 2013, one day after he and another person purchased $75,894.01 worth of Target gift cards using six counterfeit credit cards. He returned to the store in a vehicle previously identified by a Target employee as being driven by the individuals who committed credit card fraud the previous day. The vehicle was stopped by Lincoln Police and Jean-Baptiste was arrested after Lincoln Police discovered ten counterfeit credit cards, a counterfeit driver’s license and multiple Target gift cards inside the vehicle.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lee H. Vilker.
The matter was investigated by the Lincoln Police Department and the U.S. Secret Service.