- Associated Press - Monday, January 20, 2014
2 nabbed at Texas border in credit card fraud case

McALLEN, Texas (AP) - Account information stolen during the Target security breach is now being divided up and sold off regionally, a South Texas police chief said Monday following the arrest of two Mexican citizens who authorities say arrived at the border with 96 fraudulent credit cards.

McAllen Police Chief Victor Rodriguez said Mary Carmen Garcia, 27, and Daniel Guardiola Dominguez, 28, both of Monterrey, Mexico, used cards containing the account information of South Texas residents. Rodriguez said they were used to buy tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of merchandise at national retailers in the area including Best Buy, Wal-Mart and Toys R Us.

“They’re obviously selling the data sets by region,” Rodriguez said.

Garcia and Guardiola were both being held Monday on state fraud charges. It was not immediately known whether they had retained lawyers.

Rodriguez said he did not know whether they were the first arrests related to the Target breach. Target did not immediately return phone and email messages left Monday, which was Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a federal holiday. The Minneapolis-based company said last week that it has stopped more than a dozen operations that sought to scam breach victims by way of email, phone calls and text messages.


Minn. senator says lawsuit unrelated to his duties

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - A state senator who’s accused of failing to repay a Small Business Administration loan said Monday the case is not related to his legislative duties.

The SBA sued Sen. Sean Nienow, R-Cambridge, in federal court Friday, saying he and his wife, Cynthia, signed for the $613,000 loan in 2009, but stopped making their $7,589-a-month payments 18 months later, and now owe more than $748,000 in principal and other costs.

The Nienows took out the loan for the National Camp Association Inc., a business they founded and said was aimed at helping parents find camps for their children. The association, which listed their home as its address, was dissolved in 2012, according to records filed with the Secretary of State’s Office.

“I have not yet received a copy of the legal filing in question, but it is clearly not related at all to any of my Minnesota Legislative duties,” Niewnow said in a statement. “As with all pending actions of this sort, discussion of any details cannot take place until it is fully resolved.”

While Nienow said it wasn’t related to his legislative duties, he issued the statement on his Senate letterhead.


Minneapolis airport considers gambling expansion

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport is eyeing a major expansion of gambling with a plan to sell Minnesota Lottery tickets on about 2,500 electronic tablets installed in a concourse in the main terminal.

Airport spokesman Patrick Hogan said Monday that the plan airport officials are recommending could get a vote as early as next month by the Metropolitan Airports Commission. It was first reported by the Star Tribune.

The proposal came from OTG Management, a New York-based company that operates food and beverage concessions at the airport. The company already has about 2,500 iPads attached to tables throughout Concourse G at the main terminal. Travelers use those devices to order food and beverages, check flight times and browse the Internet, but Hogan said they can be easily adapted to sell Powerball and Mega Millions tickets along with electronic versions of scratch-off games.

The airports commission was to vote to approve the expansion at a recent meeting, but tabled it out of concern the expansion might bite into existing lottery sales at the airport. Currently, the nonprofit Airport Foundation operates a kiosk in the airport’s main shopping area that sells Powerball and Mega Millions tickets and scratch-off games; and about a dozen vending machines throughout the airport that sell scratch-off games.

“We just want to make sure that nothing we do negatively impacts the foundation, and that we know what we’re getting into with this,” said Paul Rehkamp, a commission member from Marshall.


Dayton calls for honoring King by reaching out

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Inequality persists in American society, Gov. Mark Dayton said Monday, and he called on individuals to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by changing that.

Dayton spoke to about 800 people at a forum at the Minnesota History Center sponsored by the Council on Black Minnesotans, Minnesota Public Radio reported.

“We can choose a path of reaching out to those who are disadvantaged, who are cut off, who don’t have hope and opportunity, or we can turn away in silence,” Dayton said. “We can reach out to stand up against injustice and the violence and hatred that still infects our society, or we can turn away with indifference.”

The keynote speaker was U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, the state’s first black congressman, who renewed his call for an increase in the minimum wage.

“These low-wage workers that I’m talking about - this low pay and this burgeoning debt, which is literally squeezing the middle class - is not what Martin Luther King had in mind,” Ellison said.

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