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More charges in Clearwater counterfeit debit card case

CLEARWATER — Four men arrested Monday in a fraud case were released on bail Wednesday, then promptly re-arrested on new charges, Clearwater police said.

Julio A. Fregel, 41, Juan Lizano, 33, Abel Barrero, 34, and Leiry Borges, 31, were each arrested Monday on a felony charge of scheme to defraud, when they were found with debit cards that had been encoded with information from other accounts.

Police added a new charge against each man of trafficking in counterfeit credit cards after police Tuesday found more than 50 additional fraudulent credit cards near the area where they were pulled over.

"They made arrangements (Wednesday) to pick up their seized vehicle from the impound lot, so they just re-arrested them there," said Clearwater police spokeswoman Beth Watts.

Police began investigating Monday morning after a gas station clerk called to say a group of men had tried to buy groceries and cigarettes with a Visa debit gift card that appeared to be fraudulent.

The clerk was able to describe the men's vehicle, a 2002 GMC Denali. Police found the truck in the vicinity of Belcher Road and Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard and pulled it over, Watts said. The men were found with four cards that had been used at various locations throughout Florida. Police seized the Denali.

On Tuesday, police returned to the location of the traffic stop and found more than 50 cards nearby, as though they had been tossed from the truck, Watts said.

On Wednesday evening, each of the men was being held in the Pinellas County Jail in lieu of $20,000 bail.

More charges in Clearwater counterfeit debit card case 12/09/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 9, 2009 5:19pm]
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