LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A fifth suspect was arrested earlier this week in an alleged Macy’s gift card scheme, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said Friday.
Richard Reye Duenas was booked Wednesday at the Los Angeles County Walnut Sherriff’s Station in connection with alleged theft of gift cards valued at $218,000 from over 40 Macy’s stores across California, according to authorities.
Duenas was wanted by authorities since he was charged on Jan. 25, 2012 with one count of grand theft, one count of conspiracy to commit fraud, three counts of acquiring access card account information to commit grand theft and nine counts of access card forgery in connection with gift card fraud associated with Macy’s Department Store, Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department said.
The investigation began after Duenas was pulled over by Lakewood Sheriff’s station deputies on Dec. 6, 2010 for a traffic violation. He was arrested for being resistive, officials said. Deputies found 16 fraudulent Macy’s gift cards during the search of his vehicle.
A subsequent investigation by the LASD’s Commercial Crimes Bureau determined Duenas was obtaining gift card account numbers and associated PIN codes, which he utilized to prepare forged gift cards through inactive cards stolen from Macy’s Department stores.
“The forged Macy’s Department Store gift cards were sold at street level to consumers by Richard Reyes Duenas’ associates,” LA Sheriff’s Department said in a statement. “The fraudulent gift cards were also utilized by Richard Reyes Duenas, and his associates, to make Macy’s Department Store purchases of Apple electronics.”
Duenas’ four associates — Justin Delgadillo, Noemi Fuentefria, Geovani Vega, Daniel Alvarez — were arrested on May 16 and May 17, 2012.
Delgadillo was charged with one count grand theft, one count conspiracy to commit fraud and ten counts access card forgery; Fuentefria was charged with one count grand theft, one count conspiracy to commit fraud, seven counts access card forgery and one count access card sales; Vega was charged with one count grand theft, one count conspiracy, four counts access card forgery and one count of acquiring access card account information to commit grand theft; and Alvarez was charged with one count grand theft and one count conspiracy.
All four have been successfully prosecuted by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, authorities said.
At time of their arrests, Duenas remained outstanding.
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department was contacted and arrested him after the Commercial Crimes Bureau received information he was residing in Nevada.
Duenas waived extradition and was transported to Los Angeles Wednesday.
Anyone with information or questions regarding this case is asked to contact Det. R. Barton at (562)946-7217.