ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Department of Justice announced another guilty plea in a nationwide gas skimming scheme that included Albany, Broome, and Montgomery Counties. Joan Jesus Manso Dieguez, 35, of Miami, Florida, pleaded guilty Thursday to his part in the fraud and money-laundering conspiracy.
Dieguez and accomplices reportedly stole banking and personal information from gas station customers in the Northern District of New York—and elsewhere in the U.S.—who bought gas by paying at the pump. Then, they reportedly used the stolen credit card information to launder money in the form of gift cards, money orders, and cash.
Dieguez admitted to the “access device fraud” conspiracy by building and installing skimming devices to steal that information between December 2015 and July 2019. He also admitted to depositing at least $505,739 of those funds into his bank accounts and withdrawing $473,754 cash. He also reportedly admitted to selling gift cards worth $1,731,169 using information stolen from about 2,900 cardholders.
Dieguez must forfeit $1,421,200 as part of his plea, and will be sentenced on March 1. He faces up to 20 years in prison, a fine of up to twice the value involved in the transaction, and up to 3 years of supervised release. He is one of at least eight who’ve been arrested. Four others have been charged.