Skimming scheme ringleader sentenced to prison

Kent County
generic gerald r. ford federal building generic federal courthouse_1530735776779.JPG.jpg

GRAND RAPIDS< Mich. (WOOD) — The last of 10 people linked to a credit card skimming scheme in West Michigan has been sentenced to time in a federal prison, authorities said.

In a Wednesday release, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said 45-year-old Guillermo Rodriguez of Miami was sentenced to 6.5 years in prison.

Federal investigators say Rodriguez was the ringleader of the skimming scheme, which in 2015 used devices placed in gas stations around West Michigan to steal people’s credit card information. The crooks then used victims’ information to buy gift cards or prepaid debit cards at Meijer stores in the Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo and Lansing areas.

Several of the suspects were arrested in West Michigan and near Lansing in September 2015. In the end, a total of 10 people, all from Miami, were sentenced in connection to the scheme:

  • Yunier Cudello-Albelo, 33 — 5.75 years in prison.
  • Yaimari Gonzalez-Santos, 39 — one year.
  • Juan Ledesma, 27 — 5.25 years.
  • Elisabe Hernandez-Perez, 46 — one year.
  • Yoel Alfonso, 39 — time served.
  • Dunieski Gutierrez, 41 — five months.
  • Jesus Carrazana, 45 — six months.
  • Isabel Tiedemann, 29 — time served.
  • Yimi Garcia-Rodriguez, 29 — two years.

Skimmers have been found in gas stations around West Michigan. Anyone who notices fraudulent charges on their credit card statement and thinks a skimmer could have taken their information should contact their bank and their local police. You can also call the MDARD Weights and Measures Division at 517.655.8202.

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