Trio takes fraud to whole new level |

Trio takes fraud to whole new level

Tim Mutrie

Three Los Angeles men arrested in Aspen Saturday night may have orchestrated the most elaborate credit card fraud scheme ever seen in the Roaring Fork Valley, according to Lawson Wills, assistant district attorney.

Roberto Guedea, 31, the scheme’s alleged ringleader, was found in possession of three high-quality fake driver’s licenses, which bore his picture, along with an alias. Guedea also had seven credit cards, which were issued in the name of one of the aliases appearing on the fake driver’s licenses, according to an affidavit from Aspen Police Officer Vicki Nall.

According to Wills, the numbers and expiration dates on each of the credit cards were legitimate, but, they belonged to other people. Presumably, blank credit cards were obtained and imprinted with stolen numbers, expiration dates and an alias that Guedea could corroborate with a fake ID.

“We have not seen that level of sophistication here,” said Wills.

Charles Tarver, owner of the Hub of Aspen, tipped police off to the trio’s alleged scheme. The men shopped hastily and then attempted to purchase snowboarding merchandise worth $1,500 using a credit card, but when a “swipe” of the card failed to register, Tarver was suspicious. He asked them to get cash for the purchase, according to Nall’s affidavit.

Some other local businesses were not so fortunate and sold goods to the men. Tarver contacted police, leading to their arrests.

“I would suspect that Charlie Tarver saved a lot of people a lot of money,” Wills said.

The two other men – Jorge Frias, 29, and Ricardo Henriquez, 31 – were arrested for their involvement in the scheme, having received goods through fraud.

The men remained in the Pitkin County Jail yesterday evening, each on a $50,000 bond.

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