FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) — A 36-year-old Merced man pleaded guilty Thursday to committing credit card fraud and related identity theft, according to U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert.

Talbert says Ruben Chavez III used or attempted to use more than 20 victims’ credit cards to make over $60,000 in fraudulent purchases from April 2021 through March 2022.

The fraudulent purchases Talbert says were at retail stores, including home appliances. Chavez also changed the victims’ mailing addresses to his own address and created fake identification cards in their names to help further his fraud, says Talbert.

Officials say Chavez is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 10, 2023. Chavez faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 for credit card fraud, and a mandatory two-year consecutive sentence for identity theft.