Man sentenced to federal prison for vehicle burglary and credit card fraud

BOISE, Idaho (KIFI) – A Miami Beach, Florida man has been sentenced to two years in federal prison for wire fraud stemming from his participation in a vehicle theft scheme that victimized individuals and businesses across the country.

According to court records, from August 2020 to February 2021, Matias Ahumada-Avendano, 31, of Miami Beach, and his co-defendant, Claudia Espinoza, 41, traveled to Treasure Valley on multiple occasions to commit robberies and frauds. They identified unoccupied vehicles parked at trailheads, broke into them, and stole the owners’ credit cards. Ahumada-Avendano and Espinoza then used the victims’ credit cards to buy gift cards and electronics at retail stores such as Target and Best Buy. Ahumada-Avendano and Espinoza were arrested on April 24, 2021 in Kent County, Michigan while breaking into a vehicle.

On November 22, 2021, Ahumada-Avendano pleaded guilty to wire fraud for his role in the scheme and was held liable for a loss of $157,502.91 for conducting the scheme in states including Florida, Kentucky , Utah and Idaho. Senior U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill also ordered Ahumada-Avendano to serve three years of supervised release to follow his prison sentence.

On January 13, 2022, Espinoza pleaded guilty to wire fraud for his participation in the same scheme. She is due to be sentenced before Judge Winmill on April 18, 2022.

U.S. Attorney Rafael M. Gonzalez, Jr., of the District of Idaho, made the announcement and praised the cooperative efforts of the U.S. Secret Service, Boise Police Department, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation agents Commission, Michigan State Police and Loss Prevention. employees of Best Buy, which resulted in charges.

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