A 30-year-old man has been charged in connection with an alleged wide-ranging fraud scheme using an area man's credit card.
The scheme came to light in Sullivan County on Wednesday, Jan. 18, when a Parksville resident, a hamlet of Liberty, reported that a fraudulent $296 charge had been made to his credit card at a Chenango County gas station in the Norwich area, said Undersheriff Eric Chaboty of the Sullivan County. Sheriff's Office.
Working with the Chenango County Sheriff, the Madison County Sheriff, and the New York State Police, deputies were able to identify a man driving a red Volvo tractor-trailer with a disguised tank mounted in the bed of the semi-trailer, Chaboty said.
Chaboty said the investigation revealed that the complainant’s credit card number had been copied in the Liberty area and then re-written to a gift card which was used by the thief.
The suspect would go to gas stations that did not yet have chip readers on their pumps and swipe the counterfeit cards containing the stolen credit card numbers using the card’s magnetic stripe. The suspect reportedly pumped thousands of gallons of diesel fuel which were then transported to New Jersey where it was apparently sold on the black market, police said.
In February, Sheriff’s detectives identified the suspect as Yosiel R. Linares, age 30, of Union, New Jersey, and obtained a warrant for his arrest.
Soon after, Linares was arrested by Union Township Police as a fugitive from justice.
On Thursday, March 2, Linares was extradited from New Jersey to Sullivan County and arraigned in the Town of Liberty Court.
Under the New York bail reform laws, Linares was released on his own recognizance pending a future court date.
The Sheriff’s Office is working with other law enforcement agencies to identify other suspects that may be involved in this case.
The investigation is continuing.
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