By Associated Press - Thursday, November 10, 2016

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - A 31-year-old Tampa man will spend time in prison for scamming more than 1,000 victims and 35 financial institutions.

According to a news release from U. S. Attorney A. Lee Bentley’s office, Alberto Yuniel Garcia was sentenced to six years and two months in federal prison. He pleaded guilty on July 7.

Court documents say Garcia and others possessed and used counterfeit credit cards to purchase items, including gift cards, at retail stores across the Tampa area. They obtained stolen credit card numbers and re-encoded gift cards with the stolen numbers to create counterfeit credit cards.

In 2014 law enforcement officers removed four skimmers from pumps at a gas station in Brooksville. Once they obtained store surveillance, officers identified Garcia.

Prosecutors say the loss to individuals was more than $700,000.

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