Shelton cops help bust couple who stole credit card info from entertainers, athletes

Shelton Police Department members played a role in catching a Connecticut couple who were operating an identity theft and credit card fraud scheme.

Jonathan Preston, 23, and his wife, Lumi Nunez, 34, both of Hartford, recently were sentenced to federal prison for their crimes. Preston received 46 months of imprisonment and Nunez 30 months of imprisonment when sentenced in Hartford federal court.

Both defendants were ordered to serve three years of supervised release after they are released from prison.

Would obtain personal info

According to court documents and statements made in court, Preston and Nunez used the Internet and other sources to obtain personal identifying information of several prominent individuals, including entertainers and professional athletes.

They then used that information to pose as the prominent individuals to gain access to these individuals’ credit card accounts, federal officials said.

Spent money on cars, jewelry, gambling

Since approximately 2010, Preston and Nunez used the credit card accounts to make more than $500,000 in unauthorized purchases and cash withdrawals. The defendants used much of the stolen money to purchase vehicles and jewelry, and to gamble at casinos, federal officials said.

Preston and Nunez have been detained since their arrests on Nov. 7, 2013. In February 2014, they each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

A restitution hearing has been set in federal court for Aug. 25.

Shelton part of task force

The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Secret Service, Hartford Police Department and Connecticut Financial Crimes Task Force.

The task force includes members of the U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation Division, Connecticut State Police, and the Shelton, Greenwich, Hartford, Monroe, Stamford, Stratford and Waterford police departments.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Edward Chang and Paul McConnell. The couple was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Michael P. Shea.