A former Glendale resident was sentenced today to a dozen years in federal prison for providing “technical support” to a credit card fraud ring that caused an estimated loss to banks of more than $3 million.
Mario Humberto Monge, 52, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Percy Anderson to a 145-months term and was ordered to pay more than $358,000 in restitution, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Anderson said there was a high likelihood the defendant would reoffend because he was previously convicted of virtually the same conduct and society needed to be protected from him.
Authorities who served search warrants on Monge’s home and elsewhere seized a large amount of cash, a currency counting machine, gas pump skimmer, skimmer electronic parts, a gas pump lock and key, and about 428 confirmed re- encoded credit/debit cards.
At the time, Monge told investigators that his role was to provide “technical support” and act as a “repairman” for the fraud ring because of his engineering background, prosecutors said.
After authorities searched his residence, Monge applied for passports in false names as part of a plan to flee the country. Authorities searched his residence again in June 2015 and seized additional identity theft-related evidence, including an additional 33 re-encoded credit/debit cards, court documents show.
“Task force members investigating this case worked from the bottom up to determine the extent of the criminal organization and to uncover how and with whom it functioned as it victimized dozens of institutions,” said Deirdre Fike, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles office. “I hope this lengthy sentence for Mr. Monge, a repeat offender, serves as a warning to those conducting similar criminal activity.”
When imposing sentence, the judge considered Monge’s criminal history, which included prior federal convictions for fraud involving cloned cellphone devices and possession of firearm silencers without serial numbers. Anderson said Monge’s applications for passports in false names while on bond showed a lack of respect for the law.
Monge pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy, fraud and aggravated theft counts.
–City News Service