Long-Time Fugitive Extradited to the United States To Face Charges for Role in Scheme to Steal 94,000 Debit and Credit Cards from Michaels’ Stores in 19 States
CAMDEN, N.J (STL.News) A California man who had fled to Mexico has been arrested for his role in a conspiracy to steal credit and debit cards from customers at approximately 80 Michaels’ Stores in 19 states and to then use that information to make fraudulent withdrawals from the bank accounts of those customers, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced today.
Jose Salazar, 44, aka “Tito,” 44, of Riverside, California, was indicted in 2015 and has been a fugitive. He was apprehended in Mexico City in September 2020 and returned last week via Philadelphia International Airport to face an indictment charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft. Salazar made his initial appearance and arraignment today by videoconference before U.S. Magistrate Judge Karen M. Williams. He pleaded not guilty and was remanded without bail.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
The conspirators installed devices that acquired customers’ bank account and personal identification number (PIN) information on point of sale (POS) terminals at stores operated by Michaels.