TJX Fence Sentenced to 5 Years for Gift Card Scheme

The perpetrator of an $8 million gift card scheme is sentenced to five years in prison.

One of the Miami residents charged with trying to sell stolen TJX credit card data has been sentenced to five years in prison and ordered to pay $600,000 in restitution, the Florida Attorney General announced Thursday.

Irving Escobar and several others were charged with using counterfeit credit cards that they manufactured using the stolen data from the TJX breach.

"Authorities believe Escobar and his codefendants acquired the stolen data and used it to re-code the counterfeit credit cards which were then used to purchase the gift cards," according to a statement from the AGs office.

“Having personally witnessed the devastation identity theft can cause on so many levels, I have pledged the full strength of my office to prosecute these criminal operations and shut them down so we can protect our citizens from this terrible form of victimization,” said Attorney General Bill McCollum.


To read more about TJXs $168 million security breach, click here.

Escobar pleaded guilty to charges of organized scheme to defraud in March. His co-defendants have also pleaded guilty to similar charges involving organized fraud and grand theft. Co-defendants Dianelly Hernandez, Julio Alberti, Reinier Alvarez and Zenia Llorente were all sentenced to probation in August. Escobar’s mother, Nair Alvarez, pleaded guilty in March and was deported to Venezuela, according to the statement.

TJX discovered in December that the computer systems that process its customer transactions had been breached and customer information had been stolen.

Information stolen from the systems was being used fraudulently in November 2006 in an $8 million gift card scheme, one month before TJX officials said they learned of the breach, Florida law enforcement officials said.

TJX itself has tallied $168 million in losses for the breach, but industry insiders have projected more than $1 billion in costs as a result, a large portion of which is based on the assumption that TJX customers would sharply reduce purchases.


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