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Tampa man sentenced to eight years in credit card skimming scheme

TAMPA — A man who helped concoct a scheme to steal credit card numbers from gasoline pumps throughout the Tampa Bay area was sentenced Tuesday to eight and a half years in federal prison.

A jury in April found Yannier Arias, 29, guilty on charges of conspiracy, aggravated identity theft, and access device fraud. Federal prosecutors alleged that Arias worked with another man, Dariel Sardinas Lopez, to skim credit card numbers from pumps at gas stations in Hillsborough, Pinellas and Sarasota counties. The pair then used the numbers to create fake credit cards, which they used to make fraudulent purchases in Florida and Michigan, authorities said.

After Lopez was arrested, Arias worked a similar scheme with Jose Ojeda Vera to use stolen credit card numbers to make more purchases, including from upscale retailers like Armani, Versace and Louis Vuitton.

U.S. District Judge Susan Bucklew also ordered Arias to repay $17,343, which he gained from the thefts.

Lopez was previously sentenced to four years in prison. Vera has been charged, but remains a fugitive.