Saturday, February 4, 2017

Bikini model busted in $2.6M ID theft scam - Update

A bikini model busted with her boyfriend for racking up $2 million in fraudulent charges took a plea deal and blamed her brush with the law on his bad influence. Patricia Perez-Gonzalez, 26, said that she’d broken it off with Alberto Companioni, 31.

The two were charged with opening more than 40 American Express Platinum cards using their victims’ stolen personal information to bankroll lavish trips to California and New York and luxury shopping sprees. The dental hygiene student copped to one count of fourth-degree grand larceny Tuesday in Manhattan Supreme Court in exchange for no jail time. Her criminal record could get her thrown out of the country. Companioni didn’t git off as easy. He pleaded guilty to grand larceny and identity theft and was promised 2 to 6 years when he’s sentenced.

He will forfeit stolen items, including a Rolex, cash, bicycles and electronics.

Patricia Perez-Gonzalez and Alberto Companioni.
A bikini model and her boyfriend​,​ accused of operating an identity theft ring that racked up $2.6 million in fraudulent charges to bankroll their lavish lifestyle​,​ looked ​prison drab when they appeared in Manhattan Supreme Court. The glamorous Miami couple appeared nothing like they did on Twitter as they glumly sat at the defense table in frumpy ​jail-issue uniforms.

Perez-Gonzalez, who wore no makeup, had her pimples on full display.

The lovebirds are each being held on $500,000 bond at separate facilities.
A blond bikini model and her boyfriend lived large, while assuming other people's identities, racking up $2.6 million to fund expensive trips and shopping binges. Patricia Perez-Gonzalez, 26, and her boyfriend, Alberto Companioni, 31, face charges of grand larceny and identity theft.

Police say the Miami-based couple used the IDs of 40 people - mostly seniors - to open American Express credit card accounts. The pair took expensive trips to New York, California and Hawaii. They shopped at high-end stores and partied like rock stars at top clubs. They also bought Apple electronics with their fraudulent credit cards and resold those overseas. Search warrants at the couple's Miami home uncovered dozens of credit cards in victims' names, forged identification and licences, a credit card encoder, blank credit cards, as well as merchandise including a Rolex watch, racing bikes, ski gear, Chanel bags, and designer clothing.
Perez-Gonzalez regularly submitted sexy photos of herself to Maxim magazine's Twitter feed. Among the multiple charges the pair face are grand larceny and identity theft. A conviction for grand larceny in the second degree, for example, carries a sentence of between five to 15 years in prison.