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Cubans sentenced for using fraudulent cards in NW Iowa stores

Cubans sentenced for using fraudulent cards in NW Iowa stores

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa -- Two Cuban nationals were each sentenced to more than three years in federal prison for using stolen identities and card numbers to purchase items in a number of Wal-Mart stores, including six in Northwest Iowa.

Dunieski Santana Moreno, 27, and Pedro Alvarez Rodriguez, 36, both of Miami, pleaded guilty last fall in U.S. District Court in Cedar Rapids to single counts of aggravated identity theft and conspiracy to commit access device fraud.

Rodriguez was sentenced to 42 months in prison, and Moreno was sentenced to 40 months in prison. They must jointly pay $5,644 in restitution to their victims.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, the two men admitted that in January and February in 2017 they stole account information from at least 54 accounts by using "skimming" devices to obtain the victims' numbers without their knowledge. The stolen account numbers then were encoded onto counterfeit magnetic strip cards that had the appearance of credit cards.

The men used the cards at Wal-Mart self-checkout registers at stores in several Iowa cities, including Sioux City, Le Mars, Sioux Center, Spirit Lake, Denison and Spencer.

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