Ex-Detective Nailed for Credit Card Fraud

Wifredo A. Ferrer, U.S. Attorney for the southern district of Florida, and George L. Piro of the BI’s Miami field office announced the sentencing of William Garcia, 39, of Miami, a former Sweetwater Police Department detective, for his role in a credit card fraud and aggravated identity theft scheme.

On April 21, 2014, a jury in federal court found Garcia guilty of 12 counts of the 15 count indictment. Specifically, the defendant was found guilty of: conspiring to produce, use, or traffic in one or more counterfeit access devices, use of a counterfeit access device, and 10 counts of aggravated identity theft. U.S. District Judge Federico A. Moreno sentenced Garcia to a term of 112 months’ imprisonment, to be followed by one year of supervised release. Garcia was also ordered to pay approximately $13,000.00 in restitution.

During trial, the United States presented evidence documenting Garcia’s improper friendship with a former confidential source. The confidential source, a convicted felon, would provide Garcia and another former police detective, Richard Munoz, with counterfeit credit cards. During the trial, the source, Munoz, and others testified about Garcia’s possession and use of those cards during shopping trips to the Dolphin and Florida City shopping malls in late 2010 and early 2011. During a meeting recorded by an FBI source, Garcia was recorded providing his own personal credit card for use in stealing account numbers and manufacturing counterfeit cards.

After the source started cooperating in June 2011, Garcia was caught on videotape bringing eight counterfeit credit cards to the confidential sources’ residence. During that and other recorded meetings, Garcia explained that he had taken the counterfeit cards from work and that he would share them with the confidential source. During the next two weeks, Garcia was again caught on tape discussing his use of the cards at restaurants, movies, and the Dolphin Mall. Garcia’s presence during the transactions was further documented through use of phone records, placing Garcia’s cellular telephone in the area of each transaction at the time it occurred.

U.S. Attorney stated, “William Garcia violated his oath as a police officer and misused his position to victimize the civilians he was sworn to protect. Mr. Garcia’s participation in these crimes betrayed not only the public trust, but also his fellow officers’ daily sacrifices as they work tirelessly to protect this community. The sentence sends a strong message that we expect and deserve more from our public servants. I congratulate the hard work of the FBI that led to this successful prosecution.”

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