Las Vegas man pleads guilty to $380k device fraud at 5 area Sam’s Clubs, elsewhere |

Las Vegas man pleads guilty to $380k device fraud at 5 area Sam’s Clubs, elsewhere

Chuck Biedka

A Las Vegas man pleaded guilty in federal court in Pittsburgh to a charge of conspiracy to commit access device fraud, U.S. Attorney Scott W. Brady announced Friday.

Yoandy Pou Torres, 38, pleaded guilty Thursday to one count before U.S. District Judge Cathy Bissoon.

Prosecutors told the court that Pou Torres used counterfeit credit cards encoded with stolen bank account information to buy MasterCard gift cards at Sam’s Club stores in the Pittsburgh area, as well as in Florida and California.

The government said that in December 2017, Pou Torres and co-defendant Hector Podio Gutierrez used an encoding device, created counterfeit credit cards, and then used the cards to make fraudulent gift card purchases totaling more than $382,000 at various Sam’s Club locations.

According to the indictment, the men got about $36,000 at West Mifflin, and about $32,000 at Ohio Township stores as well as $30,000 worth of items from the Monroeville store, almost $18,000 at the Frazer store near the Pittsburgh Mills mall and about $11,000 at Greensburg.

The pair was arrested by West Mifflin Police at the Sam’s Club in West Mifflin.

Judge Bissoon scheduled sentencing for Pou Torres on Jan. 28. He could be sentenced up to five years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both, depending on the seriousness of the offense and any prior convictions.

Pou Torres remains in custody pending sentencing. Podio Gutierrez is pending trial.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Carolyn J. Bloch is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Postal Inspection Service and the Secret Service conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Pou Torres.

Chuck Biedka is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chuck at 724-226-4711, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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