A Brooklyn man was indicted on charges that he allegedly forged more than 100 credit and gift cards to rack-up high-end purchases.
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez announced that Berlioz Florestal was arraigned in Brooklyn Supreme Court on Monday, where he was charged with 223 counts of possession of a forged instrument and other forgery-related charges. He also was arraigned on a separate indictment for forgery-related offenses after he allegedly drove with a fake North Carolina license.
In what Gonzalez called a "sophisticated and high-tech operation," the 20-year-old Forestal was caught with 110 forged credit and gift cards scattered or hidden throughout his apartment during a search by law enforcement in Nov. 2021, according to officials. Also allegedly found inside the Midwood apartment were multiple credit cars skimming devices and readers, a credit card embossing machine, three packs of magnetic strips, validation stickers, a forged driver's license and about $3,300 in cash.
Among the fake cards were 40 Visa gift cards, 17 Vanilla gift cards, 32 Mastercard gift cards and 21 others from a variety of financial instructions, Gonzalez said. The investigation revealed that Florestal used the counterfeit items in part to buy high-end items and clothing from retailers like Gucci and Prada.
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Beyond the fake cards, Florestal was stopped by police in Coney Island on April 24 for having windows that there tinted too darkly, according to Gonzalez. He was found to be driving with a suspended license, and placed under arrest.
When searched at the station house, police found a forged North Carolina driver's license in his pants pocket. A credit card embossing machine wrapped in a black garbage bag was later found in Florestal's trunk, as was a hologram sticker of the Delaware state seal.
Florestal was released without bail and is next scheduled to appear in court on July 28.