BUFFALO, N.Y. – U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Jose Valdivia Quinones, 41, a Cuban National of Tampa, Florida, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge Richard J. Arcara, to bank fraud. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison, a fine of $1,000,000 or both.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Russell T. Ippolito, Jr., who is handling the case, stated that Valdivia Quinones fraudulently obtained the credit/debit card numbers of actual people and then encoded counterfeit cards with the information illegally obtained. The defendant then used the counterfeit cards to purchase merchandise at Tops Markets stores in the Towns of Hamburg and East Aurora.
Valdivia Quinones was indicted along with Eduardo Quinones Hernandez, Yasser Carrillo Chartrand, Yaily Santurio Milian, Claudia Diaz Diaz, and Misael Toledo Rios. Hernandez has been convicted. Charges are pending against the remaining defendants. The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
The plea is the result of an investigation by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge J. Michael Kennedy, the U.S. Secret Service, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge C. Todd Laster, and the New York State Police, under the direction of Major Michael Cerretto.
Sentencing is scheduled on December 15, 2015, before Judge Arcara.