DA Vance: ID Thief Sentenced to 1-to-3 Years in Prison for Skimming Victims’ Credit Cards at Popular Lunch Chain


March 22, 2017

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the sentencing of AIDA MATIAS, 23, to 1-to-3 years in state prison for stealing personal information from customers of a popular chain of eateries and making fraudulent purchases using forged credit cards. On February 28, 2017, the defendant pleaded guilty to Identity Theft in the First Degree, Forgery in the Second Degree, Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, and Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree, among other charges.

“Going cashless is becoming more and more common, but these convenient transactions often represent opportunities for ID thieves,” said District Attorney Vance. “In this case, a cashier used a handheld skimming device to steal credit card information from more than 70 customers at a popular lunch chain. These points of compromise can occur anywhere—from ATMs to hospitals—and I encourage individuals to monitor their financial statements closely to identify and catch signs of similar fraud.”

As admitted in the defendant’s guilty plea, between July and September 2016, MATIAS was employed as a cashier at a Le Pain Quotidien location in SoHo, where she used a handheld skimming device to steal credit card data from more than 70 victims, whose information was used to make fraudulent charges totaling nearly $20,000. At the time of her arrest, the defendant was in possession of more than 15 forged credit cards, some of which were encoded with information stolen from customers.

In October 2016, the defendant also used a forged credit card to purchase merchandise valued at thousands of dollars from luxury department stores and retailers, including Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdale’s, and Louis Vuitton.

Finally, MATIAS pleaded guilty to Identity Theft in the First Degree for using a forged credit card to reserve a premium hotel suite in Manhattan for herself and others in December 2016. A search warrant later executed at the defendant’s apartment revealed possession of more than two dozen forged credit cards, forgery devices, and a fraudulent New York State identification card. 

Assistant District Attorney Alona Katz handled the prosecution of the case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Daniel Holmes, Elizabeth Roper and Jeremy Glickman, Deputy Chiefs of the Cybercrime and Identity Theft Bureau, Assistant District Attorney Brenda Fischer, Chief of the Cybercrime and Identity Theft Bureau, and Executive Assistant District Attorney Michael R. Sachs, Chief of the Investigation Division. Senior Rackets Investigator Patrick Ludlow, working under the supervision of Supervising Rackets Investigator Gregory Dunlavey, and Cybercrime Analyst George Bishai provided additional assistance with the case.

District Attorney Vance also thanked the NYPD, Le Pain Quotidien, American Express, and Chase Bank for their assistance with the investigation.

Defendant Information:

AIDA MATIAS, D.O.B. 5/29/1993
Bronx, NY

Convicted:

  • Identity Theft in the First Degree, a class D felony, 2 counts
  • Forgery in the Second Degree, a class D felony, 1 count
  • Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class D felony, 1 count
  • Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree, a class D felony, 1 count
  • Criminal Possession of Forgery Devices, a class D felony, 1 count
  • Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 5 counts
  • Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 5 counts

Sentenced:

  • 1-to-3 years in state prison