ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Two Florida men have been sentenced for their roles in a nationwide gas station skimming scheme. The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) said Hugo Hernandez, 35, of Miami Lakes, Florida, was sentenced to five years in prison, and Marlon Palacios, 38, of Cape Coral, Florida, was sentenced to four months in jail.

As part of his guilty plea on October 22, 2021, Hernandez admitted that between December 2015 and July 2019, he conspired with others to commit fraud by building skimming devices to steal gas station customer information. He then installed those devices inside gas pumps in Albany, Montgomery, and Broome Counties, and elsewhere.

DOJ said Hernandez used that information to create fraudulent credit and debit cards. The fraudulent cards were used to get money orders, gift cards, cash, and other things of value. Hernandez also admitted to being part of a conspiracy to launder funds from the fraud conspiracy, which caused at least 162 money orders, worth $173,257, to be deposited into a bank account he controlled. As part of his plea agreement, Hernandez agreed to a forfeiture money judgment of $173,257.

As part of his guilty plea on April 14, 2021, Palacios admitted to being a part of the same access device fraud conspiracy. He also admitted to committing aggravated identity theft by sending or receiving e-mails that had the stolen credit or debit card account information. As part of his plea agreement, Palacios agreed to a forfeiture money judgment of $25,000. 

Hernandez was also sentenced to a three-year term of supervised release after he is released from prison. Palacios was also sentenced to a one-year term of supervised release after he is released from jail.