PITTSBURGH — The United States Secret Service is investigating three Massachusetts men accused of an elaborate credit card theft conspiracy in Western Pennsylvania.
According to court documents, Christopher Richardson, Brian Vilnegre and Marc Louissaint were charged in Moon Township last month after apparently using stolen credit card information to purchase food from the Eggs N’at on University Boulevard. The victim, a Florida resident, received a security alert and phoned the diner. Staff then called Moon Township Police.
The suspects were found with cards that had been re-encoded so that the account numbers were not matching those embossed on the actual cards, documents say.
Detectives determined that the three men had been staying at a nearby Hampton Inn. They obtained search warrants for their hotel rooms and a rental vehicle.
Court documents say investigators seized more than 100 Target gift cards along with “Fuze” cards that can store multiple accounts. Investigators also allegedly found multiple cell phones, tablets and accessories for credit card reading and writing.
According to court documents, the discovered devices would allow a user to “see pertinent card information” if a card reader is connected to an online payment network.
The technology “allows a fraudster to conduct transactions and re-encoding anywhere including a vehicle, so that fraudulent activity can be carried out when moving from retailer to retailer at any time,” documents say.
This week, federal authorities filed a search warrant for the seized electronic devices.
The federal affidavit notes that the three suspects have criminal histories. In Florida in 2018, Louissaint was arrested with charges involving larceny and forging/embossing a credit card. Richardson and Vilnegra were charged with “burglarious instrument, make” in Massachusetts in 2018.