BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Two Brazilian citizens residing in Florida were sentenced to more than three years in federal prison on wire fraud charges in connection with a scheme to use counterfeit debit and credit cards to purchase merchandise at retail stores in Maryland and other states.
Lucas Pimenta Diogo Das Gracas, 23, and his con-conspirator Diogo Miranda Araujo, 23, were sentenced to 40 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release.
A judge also ordered the defendants to pay restitution totaling $41,116.
Araujo also pleaded guilty to aggravated identity theft for his role in the scheme in Maryland.
According to Araujo’s plea agreement, in November 2017, he traveled from Florida to Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina, where he used a large number of cloned payment cards as well as fake Brazilian identification cards in fraudulent retail transactions in Maryland and the surrounding area.
Also in November 2017, Das Gracas, co-conspirator Victor Andrade Carneiro Brito and another co-conspirator possessed at least 189 counterfeit payments cards, which they used to rent a vehicle and make fraudulent retail purchases in Maryland and surrounding states.
Araujo further admitted that from May through July 2017, he traveled from Florida to Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Illinois making fraudulent purchases at retailers using counterfeit payment cards.