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Thief Gets 3 Years In Fed Pen For Swiping $500,000 From Michaels' Customers

Michaels in Hartsdale.
Michaels in Hartsdale. Photo Credit: COURTESY: Nick Minervino (GoogleMaps)

A 28-year-old man received three years in federal prison Wednesday for his role in stealing information from 94,000 credit and debit cards used by customers at Michaels stores in New York State and elsewhere and then pulling nearly $500,000 from the victims' accounts.

Angel Angulo of Riverside, California, previously admitted that he and his co-conspirators replaced swipe terminals with imitations that they used to record the bank account numbers and PINs.

They used the information to create bogus cards that were then used to withdraw money from hundreds of victims' accounts, he said.

The crew replaced 88 terminals with imitations in 80 different stores operated by Michaels across 19 states, including New York, federal authorities said.

Of its 59 stores in New York State, Michaels has locations in:

  • WESTCHESTER: Hartsdale, Pelham Manor, Port Chester, Mohegan Lake;
  • ROCKLAND: Spring Valley;
  • ORANGE : Middletown, Central Valley, Newburgh;
  • DUTCHESS: Poughkeepsie;
  • PUTNAM: Brewster.

Angulo and co-conspirator Crystal Banuelos created 179 counterfeit cards that were used to withdraw $480,300, authorities said. Banuelos, who previously pleaded guilty to her role in the scheme, is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 5.

In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Judge Joseph H. Rodriguez sentenced Angulo to five years of supervised release, and ordered him to pay restitution, during Wednesday's sentencing in U.S. District Court in Camden.

Because there's no parole in the federal prison system, Angulo will have to serve nearly all of the sentence in exchange for his guilty pleas to aggravated identity theft and conspiracy to commit bank fraud.

U.S. Attorney for New Jersey Craig Carpenito credited special agents of the U.S. Secret Service with the investigation leading to the guilty pleas and Angulo's sentence.

Prosecuting the case for the government is Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Shapiro of the Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property Section of Carpenito's Economic Crimes Unit.

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