ONLY ON CVP: A Lodi man and a pair of accomplices stole credit card information from gas station customers that was then used to buy alcohol for his Jersey City nightclub, authorities charged.
Kenny Frias ( above, left ) is accused of heading the crew, which an collected the information through skimming devices attached to credit card swipe machines at has stations in Hasbrouck Heights, Lodi and Jersey City, according to an indictment returned by a grand jury in Hackensack last week says.
More than $75,000 worth of alcohol was bought wth the stolen identities at the Food Basics in Glen Rock and then sold at Frias’ Phebe Nightclub and Restaurant on Newark Avenue in Jersey City, it says.
Investigators who executed search warrants at Frias’s home and the club last spring seized a credit card reading and writer device, fraudulent credit cards, false identification and more than $75,000 of what authorities said were ill-gotten gains.
Frias’ girlfriend, Jeanessa Torres of Clifton ( above, right ), who authorities said was with him, was indicted on weapons charges for a knife they said she was carrying.
Investigators later charged Richard Almonte of Elmwood Park and Lisaldo Espinal of Paterson with buying the alcohol for Frias.
Frias, Almonte and Espinal “knowingly possessed 10 or more items containing personal identifying information” without authorization of no fewer than five people for purposes of fraud, the indictment alleges.
They also “possessed with the intent to defraud another, a device, apparatus, equipment, software, article, material, good, property or supply, that was specifically designed or adapted for use as or in a scanning device or reencoder — namely computer software and/or a computer and/or a credit card re-encoder and/or a credit card scanner,” it says.
Using the information swiped by the scanner, the trio conspired and conducted the scheme, the grand jury charged.
Frias alone is charged in the indictment with using his business for the illegal operation.
Frias remains free on $100,000 bail and Torres on $2,500 bail, both posted a day after their May 21 arrests last year. Bail information on Almonte and Espinal wasn’t immediately available.
MUGSHOTS: Courtesy BERGEN COUNTY PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE
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