California man guilty in $340K, 7-state credit card plot

August 22, 2022 GMT

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A California man has pleaded guilty in a seven-state plot to buy $340,000 worth of gift cards and goods at The Home Depot using other people’s credit card numbers, U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans said Monday in a news release.

Jonathan Orpilla Sinlao, 37, of San Jose, pleaded guilty on Thursday to conspiracy, and prosecutors agreed to drop seven counts of access device fraud when he pleaded guilty, the statement said.

Investigators looked into more than 100 unauthorized purchases between February of 2019 and July of 2019 at Home Depot stores in Louisiana, Florida, Texas, Arizona, California, New York, and Oklahoma, according to the news release.

Sinlao would pay with “a temporary charge pass containing his name and 16-digit credit card numbers,” according to a sworn statement. The credit card numbers were not issued to Sinlao.

At least seven such purchases, in April 2019, were in the New Orleans area.

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Sinlao was caught after a Home Depot employee in Oklahoma City checked on two numbers on July 4, 2019, and learned they weren’t Sinlao’s, the sworn statement said.

She called city police, who searched a rented vehicle and found boxes of Home Depot merchandise, receipts for fraudulent purchases, temporary charge passes with Sinlao’s name and credit card numbers that weren’t his. They also found some of Sinlao’s belongings including his Social Security card, according to the sworn statement.

It said surveillance cameras showed Sinlao involved in about 78 unauthorized transactions, and receipts and other records show that he gave his driver’s license number in 88 transactions.

The statement also describes some actions allegedly taken by two co-conspirators whom it did not name.

U.S. District Judge Barry W. Ashe scheduled sentencing Nov. 10. The maximum sentence would be 7.5 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and supervised release of up to three years.