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Feds investigate alleged fraud at local business - KZTV10.com | Continuous News Coverage | Corpus Christi

Feds investigate alleged fraud at local business

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CORPUS CHRISTI -

A federal investigation is underway into allegations of credit card fraud at a business on Kostoryz.  According to court documents, this credit card scheme had been going on since last year at American Auto Pros on the 5500 block of Kostoryz.

More than $30,000 allegedly stolen from as many as seventeen customers paying with credit or debit cards.  And according to a US District Court affidavit, the suspect named is Antonio Arteaga.

Here's what he is accused of doing.  Court documents say the credit card machine at the business was connected to a cord that ran through a hole in the wall. That cord went through the wall and plugged into a computer inside a filing cabinet.

The computer had software installed to pull and store banking information.  The court affidavit goes on to say there was a camera located above the credit card machine, and that's how Arteaga allegedly got what he was looking for. 

Lt. Michael Pena is with CCPD's Financial Crimes Section tells us, "Yeah, he could watch.  Go back and look at video and watch people put their pin numbers in."  And once Arteaga reportedly had that information, Pena says he used it consistently at Stripes stores on Kostoryz.  "He would go into the ATM and pull money out at different times using basically a cloned credit card."

In August this year, CCPD obtained a search warrant for Arteaga's residence and business.  Officers seized $13,000 in cash, a credit card encoding machine, and dozens of blank plastic cards commonly associated with credit card duplication.

"Once we saw that there was substantial fraud," Pena says, "we reached out to the Secret Service." And Arteaga was arrested.  Arteaga has since bonded out of jail.  In the court affidavit, he denies stealing credit cards from his customers, and instead blamed the theft of the cards on the "Cubans."

Employees at American Auto Pros tell us Arteaga doesn't work there anymore.  This case has been taken over by the Secret Service.  If you believe you are a victim in this case, you are asked to contact CCPD immediately.

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