Federal agents investigating local business man - KZTV10.com | Continuous News Coverage | Corpus Christi

Federal agents investigating local business man

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Corpus Christi Financial Crimes detectives are advising anyone that has done business at American Auto Pros within the last year to double-check their bank statements.

According to a U.S. District Court affidavit, a credit card scheme was allegedly run by a suspect named Antonio Arteaga out of the auto shop since 2016.

It is believed that more than $30,000 have been stolen from paying customers.

Lieutenant Michael Pena with the Corpus Christi Police Department explained the process in which Arteaga allegedly stole the money.

"He would go into the ATM and pull money out at different times using basically a cloned credit card," Lt. Pena said.

Back in August, the Corpus Christi Police Department obtained a search warrant for Arteaga's home and business.

They found $13,000 in cash, a credit card encoding machine, and dozens of blank plastic cards commonly associated with credit card duplication.

The affidavit explains how Arteaga allegedly accessed the account information of at least 17 of his customers, racking up more than $30,000 in fraudulent charges at various ATMs.

According to court documents, the credit card machine at American Auto Pros was connected to a cord that ran through a hole in the wall, and was connected to a computer.

The affidavit also explained there was a camera located above the credit card machine, allegedly allowing Arteaga to watch as customers entered their PIN numbers.

"Unfortunately we have a lot of these cases, and sometimes it's very difficult to put these together. But in this case, we saw a trend and started digging deeper and we were able to track it down," Lt. Pena said.

Antonio Arteaga was taken into custody by CCPD on August 18th.

He is since out on bond.

We reached out to him for comment and did not hear back.

However, we spoke with associates at American Auto Pros who said Arteaga is no longer employed there, but declined to comment on the investigation.

Because of the nature of this alleged crime, the Federal Government is filing charges and the investigation is being taken over by the Secret Service.

Corpus Christi Police detectives ask that if you believe you are a victim in this case, to contact them immediately.

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