Florida man pleads guilty in gas station skimming scheme, devices found in Capital Region

Gas station

(Photo Illustration by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A Florida man has pleaded guilty for his involvement in a nationwide gas station credit card skimming scheme. Hugo Hernandez, 34, of Miami Lakes, Florida pleaded guilty to an indictment charging him with being part of access device fraud and money laundering.

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) said the skimming scheme involved stealing banking and personal information of residents who used a card to pay at the gas pump. Skimming devices were found inside gas pumps in Albany, Montgomery and Broome counties.

Hernandez admitted that between December 2015 and July 2019 he conspired with others to build those skimming devices and install them in gas pumps. DOJ said he then used the stolen information to create fake credit and debit cards.

DOJ said Hernandez also admitted to being part of a conspiracy to launder funds obtained through the fake cards and causing at least 162 money orders, worth $173,257, to be deposited into a bank account he controlled. As part of his plea agreement, Hernandez has to forfeit the money from the money orders.

Hernandez is scheduled to be sentenced on March 1, 2022. He faces up to 20 years in prison, a fine of up to $500,000 and up to 3 years of supervised release.

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