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A recently busted credit card ring had access to hundreds of thousands of credit card numbers

The United States Secret Service arrested four members of a Florida-based criminal gang responsible for operating a sophisticated credit card fraud ring.  The Secret Service's investigation also led to the confiscation of more than 200,000 credit card account numbers, as much as $10,000 in cash, two vehicles and at least one weapon.

Secret Service bureaus in Miami and Nashville launched a joint investigation - starting with Julio Lopez, a member of the group who used the screen name "Blinky" while selling and purchasing stolen credit card information.  After gathering enough evidence to arrest Lopez and Anett Villar, his girlfriend, the Secret Service discovered a large organized crime ring.

Authorities were later able to piece together details of the fraud ring operating in southern Florida, spear headed by Cuban nationals.

The four arrested suspects also allegedly have ties to the recent T.J. Maxx security breach - an incident that caused TJ Maxx to spend at least $5M in resources to help investigate the case.  Six people were arrested in March after purchasing up to $8 million in electronics and gift cards from Wal-Mart retail locations.

Credit card fraud continues to be a booming business, with thieves often times selling counterfeit credit cards to other criminals.  The problem is serious enough that some officials are issuing warnings that cybercrime is quickly becoming more profitable than illicit drug trade.

"What this shows is the transnational nature of the crime," said Christopher Pierson, Lewis and Roca LLP law firm partner.  "This is a crime that moves across borders and is worldwide and is hitting the U.S. very hard."




"We’re Apple. We don’t wear suits. We don’t even own suits." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs
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