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Glenn Hegar
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Glenn Hegar
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Glenn Hegar
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

Breaking the state's laws is a losing proposition. Read about those who found that out the hard way.

October 2019

Oct. 30

Rauly Michel Veranes, 30 of Houston pleaded guilty in a Brazoria County district court to motor fuel tax evasion and credit card abuse, receiving deferred adjudication (no final conviction) and five years’ probation. He also must pay court costs and perform 160 hours of community service.

Veranes admitted using re-encoded charge cards to unlawfully obtain diesel fuel from a Pearland store in January. The offense is a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

A related felony charge of fraudulent possession/use of identifying information was dismissed in the plea agreement.

Local police reported witnessing the purchases and arrested the defendant on the premises, confiscating 19 “cloned” credit cards. His pickup truck had been modified to conceal an auxiliary tank and other equipment designed to receive, transport and dispense large quantities of motor fuel.

CID assisted the Pearland Police Department in the investigation of the case.

Oct. 28

Yoankys Sotolongo-Torres, 29, and Orlando Goulet-Nazario, 30 both of Houston, were arrested for allegedly using re-encoded credit cards to unlawfully obtain more than 90 gallons of diesel fuel from a chain convenience store in Baytown.

Local police confiscated 56 “cloned” cards from the suspects, who allegedly used some of them in the four transactions reportedly observed. Investigators discovered an auxiliary fuel tank concealed in the cargo bed of their pickup truck consistent with motor fuel transportation.

Each suspect is charged with engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a transport license or permit. The offense is a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Local authorities also are charging them with possessing more than 50 counterfeit credit cards.

CID assisted the Baytown Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Oct. 21

Fernando Longoria, 27 of Austin pleaded guilty in a Travis County court to operating amusement machines without a license or registration, receiving deferred adjudication (no final conviction) and two years’ probation. He also must perform 80 hours of community service and pay restitution to the state of $20,350.

Longoria admitted owning and operating multiple "8-liners" at two unlicensed Austin game rooms. The offense is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000 or both.

In August 2018, CID investigators acting on a tip discovered 37 video slot machines without the requisite amusement tax decals in a game room in Southeast Austin. The defendant reportedly admitted owning those machines as well as others at another location on North Interstate Highway 35.

A felony drug possession charge stemming from a search during his booking into Travis County Jail was dismissed.

Oct. 18

Pedro Ismael Serrano Echevarria, 39 of Addison was indicted for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to fraudulently obtain 148 gallons of diesel fuel worth almost $400 from a Gainesville convenience store last June.

Echevarria is charged with motor fuel tax evasion and transporting motor fuel without shipping documents. Both offenses are second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

On June 18, a store employee alerted police to a fuel theft in progress. The defendant allegedly was pumping diesel into an external fuel cell in the bed of his pickup truck. Officers reportedly confiscated 24 “cloned” charge cards during a search following his arrest the next day.

The vehicle has been linked to prior fuel thefts at the same location earlier that week that may have netted more than 400 gallons of diesel, according to reports.

CID assisted the Gainesville Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Cooke County.

Rosbel Larosa Acebo, 37 of Miami, Fla. was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded credit cards to unlawfully obtain more than 39 gallons of diesel fuel worth $100 from a chain convenience store in Baytown.

After confronting the suspect, a store loss prevention officer contacted local police. Upon arrival, they confiscated 11 “cloned” cards from the suspect. Investigators also discovered an auxiliary fuel tank concealed in the bed of his pickup truck.

Acebo is charged with motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Local authorities also are charging him with fraudulent possession/use of identifying information.

CID assisted the Baytown Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Oct. 15

Enrique Cisneros, 43, of Houston and Yunior Paneque-Garlobo, 38 of Elizabeth, N.J. were indicted for allegedly using re-encoded credit cards to unlawfully obtain diesel fuel from a chain convenience store in Pearland last May.

A store employee reportedly witnessed the transaction and alerted local police, who stopped the suspects in their pickup truck. It was found to contain a large auxiliary tank mounted in the bed and connected to hoses, pumps and nozzles consistent with transporting and dispensing fuel.

The co-defendants are charged with motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine, and with engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a transport license or permit. Although the latter offense is a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine, it was upgraded to a second-degree felony as part of a criminal episode.

Local authorities also are charging the pair with unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., the truck), a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years and a fine of up to $10,000.

CID assisted the Pearland Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Brazoria County.

Oct. 15

Mohammad Yasien Noorani, 51 of Tyler was indicted on charges of selling out-of-state tobacco products on which more than $1,000 in Texas taxes went unpaid and for failing to keep required records in the spring of 2018.

Noorani is accused of possessing tobacco products having more than $50 in taxes due and with books and records violations in April 2018. The offenses are third-degree felonies, each punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The owner/operator of MM Novelty in Tyler allegedly bought snuff, cigars, cigarillos, chewing tobacco and other products from vendors in Illinois and Michigan. Acting on a complaint investigators inspected his store and seized a large quantity of tobacco products.

They reported finding no valid invoices showing payment of Texas tobacco taxes to the distributors the defendant identified.

The case is pending prosecution in Smith County.

Oct. 3

Jose Alberto Nunez-Morgado, 49 of Austin, was indicted for allegedly using a re-encoded charge card to unlawfully obtain 74 gallons of diesel fuel worth $200 from a Seguin merchant last August.

He is charged with motor fuel tax evasion and fraudulent possession of identifying information, both second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Nunez-Morgado allegedly pumped the diesel into an auxiliary tank concealed in the bed of his pickup truck. Investigators reportedly confiscated 22 "cloned" charge cards from the defendant during his arrest.

The case is pending prosecution in Guadalupe County.

In March 2018, Nunez-Morgado received eight years’ probation, a $2,000 fine and 320 hours of community service for pleading guilty to motor fuel tax evasion and unlawful fuel transportation, both second-degree felonies, in Travis County.

Case News Archive »

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