Three get prison time for fake credit card scam in Missouri and Illinois

ST. LOUIS • Three men who traveled Missouri and Illinois using credit cards embedded with information stolen in an online security breach were sentenced to federal prison Friday, the U.S. Attorney’s office said.

Israel Olivas Jr., Carlos Alonso Serna Jr. and Luis Ruben Sanchez-Castro flew to Kansas City to pick up 155 cards, then drove through Missouri and Illinois between May 22-26, prosecutors said.

The account numbers of about 105 residents of the St. Louis area were used on the cards, causing losses of more than $70,000, prosecutors said.

The data was stolen from Heartland Payment Systems, a credit card processing system, in the fall of 2013. The data included information from an unnamed Ellisville restaurant.

Olivas was sentenced Friday to two years in prison, Serna received two and one-half year sentence and Sanchez-Castro got three years, nine months. The three all faced charges of conspiracy and credit card fraud. Sanchez-Castro, a Mexican citizen who had done this four or five times previously, was also charged with aggravated identity theft, prosecutors said. The two others faced an identity theft charge.

Two Mexican citizens who were participated in the scheme from Dec 12-15, Yesenia Melissa Celaya-Rivera and Yennica Guadalupe Soto-Campa, were indicted Wednesday, prosecutors said.