Boise Police Department
News Release

Michael F. Masterson
Chief of Police


Contact: Lynn Hightower
Communications Director
570-6180

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Friday, January 29, 2010

BPD arrests 2 in major retail fraud case. Losses exceed $10,000, 50 fake credit cards found

01-29-10 BPD arrests 2 in major retail fraud case. Losses exceed $10,000, 50 fake credit cards found

Boise, Jan. 29, 2010 -Boise Police have two men in custody after local retailers alerted officers to what appears to be a major retail fraud ring.
The suspects are not local, and officers believe the suspects may have committed similar crimes in other cities.
Losses to just one local retailer over just the past two days are known to be more than $10,000.

"We think this will be a big case, and it was solved because we have a unique cooperative program here in Boise between law enforcement and retailers," said Curt Crum, head of the Boise Police Department's Organized Retail Crime Unit.

What Happened: Boise Police were alerted Wednesday afternoon, Jan. 29th when loss prevention agents at a Boise area Home Depot discovered a large purchase of gift cards made with what appeared to be fraudulent credit cards. The Home Depot loss prevention agents were able to give police a description of a vehicle the suspects were driving.
Boise Police learned the suspect vehicle is a rental and was last rented in Albuquerque, New Mexico January 14th. Boise Police believe the suspects have been in the Boise area since Jan. 25th. Law enforcement all over the valley was alerted to look for the suspect vehicle.
This morning, investigators with the Boise Police Organized Retail Crime unit spotted the suspect vehicle parked at a hotel near I-84 and Cole Rd. Officers waited for the suspects to return to their car and took the two men into custody.

The Investigation: Boise Police, with assistance from Meridian Police and Secret Service agents, conducted a search warrant on the suspect vehicle (see photos attached).
Officers found more than $10,400 in fraudulently purchased Home Depot gift cards, as well as a number of other gift cards from retailers around the Treasure Valley.
Officers also found approx. 50 counterfeit credit cards.
Some of the gift cards were found in a small compartment hidden behind the vehicles glove box.

About Retail Fraud: Investigators believe these suspects gained access to actual, legitimate credit card accounts. The suspects use the legitimate credit account information to create counterfeit credit cards with matching fake identification. The suspects use the fake credit and ID cards to buy gift cards from retailers. How the suspects access the legitimate credit account information remains under investigation.

Investigators believe the two men in custody in Boise are part of a much larger retail fraud operation. Investigators say fraudulently obtained gift cards are often sold on the internet or to other buyers who may or may not know they're purchasing fraudulently obtained gift cards, often buying the cards for below market value.

Consumers are the losers: "We all pay for these crimes, literally, " said Crum. "We pay higher prices at retail stores as they try to cover their losses from this type of fraud."

Nationwide, retailers report billions lost each year to theft and fraud.

The suspects are currently identified as:

Arrested: Enrique J. Mora, 26, Miami, FL
Arrested: Leansy Milanes, 25, Miami , FL
Charges against both: Conspiracy to commit Grand Theft (F), Criminal possession of a financial transaction card(F)

Both suspects are awaiting transport to the Ada County Jail at this time.
This investigation remains ongoing.

About the Boise PD Organized Retail Crime Unit:
The Boise Police Department's Organized Retail crime Unit works closely and cooperatively with loss prevention agents from local retail stores, large and small, local and national chains. The goal for police and retailers is to work together to reduce theft and fraud, crimes that directly impact consumer prices.