Ringleader of Denver Based ID theft Group Sentenced to 24 Years in Prison

credit card thief

A 29-year-old man was sentenced Monday to 24 years in prison for operating an ID and theft ring in the metro area.

A Jefferson County jury in August found Michael Mancuso guilty of 43 counts, including violation of the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act for engaging in a pattern of racketeering, according to the district attorney’s office.

Seven co-defendants were indicted and convicted in the case, according to a news release. Prosecutors described Mancuso as a ringleader of the criminal enterprise.

The ring illegal obtained financial and personal information of victims, including names, addresses, credit card numbers, security codes and expiration dates. Using bitcoins purchased at ATM machines, the group would then go on the dark web and purchase Chase VISA card information belonging to victims in the metro area. They then purchased goods and services with the Visa card information, and sell the items to pawn shops and second-hand stores for cash.

Mancuos had eight prior felony convictions. In April 2018, he was chased down by Golden police as he attempted to steal a bicycle from a local shop.

Mancuso and his cohort conducted fraudulent transactions targeting 35 people, the DA’s office said. Members of the enterprise would buy things like bicycles, jewelry, clothing, cars and musical equipment using information from the credit cards. They would then sell the items to pawn shops, prosecutors said. The scheme involved more than $38,000 in fraudulent transactions and $20,000 in thwarted attempts to use the financial information.

Astute bicycle shop owners in Golden helped police catch Mancuso last year. Recognizing that they had heard the scheme from other shop owners, employees at the Golden Bike Shop told Mancuso that they were tuning the bike he ordered, before calling police and arranging for them to be at the store when Mancuso returned.

He was already wanted on felony warrants in Jefferson, Boulder and Clear Creek counties at the time of his arrest.

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Written by ben shekelberg

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