Andres Rojas is a 29-year old Venezualan citizen who has been incarcerated in for almost 2 years now awaiting trial for what we believe is a fishing expedition by the US Department of Justice.
He was arrested on 8th February 2018 by a gang of 22 armed police in Sydney for allegedly being a ring leader of a huge stolen credit card fraud. The fraud was huge and supposedly had 11,000 members who stole $530m over a period of 7 years and yet his charges are quite minor in comparison. Andres has been in prison in Australia ever since awaiting extradition to the USA. He denies all the charges and allegations made, yet has been refused bail. The charges have not been particularised or substantiated neither has any evidence been proferred.
Andres has been fighting extradition since if found guilty, he is likely to be deported back to Venezuala to spend his time in prison there.Various appeals up to the Attorney General have failed and he was deported on 20th November 2019 to the USA to a prison just outside Las Vegas, where the charges have been raised.
So far legal help has been provided pro-bono in Australia but with his savings now depleted he needs funding to pay for a lawyer to fight his case in the USA.His venezualan girlfriend has twice been denied a visa to the USA to be able to visit him there and he has no family or friends in the USA able to assist.
We believe that with half-decent legal representation he will easily be absolved of both charges and with time served should be freed quickly.With your help this will be possible. Please think and pray about what you can contribute. What has happened to Andres could easily happen to any one of us.It would also help if you could do something practical like spreading the word of this campaign to others or write a short letter to Andres. No sum is too small and we are grateful for whatever you can contribute. We believe God will reward you for your kindness.
I was in prison and you came to visit me … I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”
(Matthew 25:36, 40)
Who is Andres Viloria Rojas?
Andres is a 29-year-old Venezualan citizen born into a middle-class family.His parents ran a mechanical engineering business until the government siezed their assets and put them out of business.Andres studied politics at university.He became interested in trading forex at a youngs age and spent hundreds of hours studying the charts.In his learning process he made and then quickly lost a very large sum of money before settling down as a steady trader that gave him a comfortable living.With the deteriorating situation he decided to leave Venezuala in 2016 and move to Sydney along with his girlfriend, with the intention of learning English and completing an IT degree.
What was “Infraud”?
According to the indictment (1) the fraud has became infamously known as the "Infraud" fraud after their slogan "In fraud we trust". It was started in 2010 by a Ukranian and ran until the arrests in February 2018. Their main business was the peddling of stolen credit card lists and associated activities including malware losely referred to as “cybercrime”. Of the 11,000 fraudsters a mere 34 members have been indicted of whom 13 have been arrested in 6 countries and 8 are anonymous. 3 have since been acquitted. There were 6 levels of member in the operation ranging from Administrators down to members.
What has Andres been charged with?
Some of those arrested are higher level and a few such as Andres, seem to be low level members.He became a member not knowing it was a fraudulent organisation and then was almost immediately was made a VIP Member for some unknown reason.Of the 34 people indicted curiously only Andres is listed as having performed no serious crimes.All the others have been charged with multiple acts of buying and selling lists of stolen cards, bank fraud and various other crimes.
He is charged with a catch-all Racketeering Conspiracy charge by virtue of his membership, a crime that carries a 10-year sentence.The detailed conspiracy of 117 criminal acts commited by all the defendants outlined in the 50-page indictment only alledges that he carried out the following 2 acts:
1. S14.73 On, about, during and between April 3, 2013, and May 20, 2013, Rojas  used Medvedev's  money exchanging service.
2. S14.87 On or about October 26, 2013, Rojas  purchased a compromised credit card from Musliu [331
The first relates to a transfer Andres made using Liberty Reserve, the Costa Rican digital money-exchange service (forerunner to bitcoin) used by millions of people and by no means specific to Medvedev.It was very popular with Venezualans who needed to transfer money out of the country quickly and easily.The second one even if true would be at most be a relative minor misdemanour compared to the other serious criminal acts. Even if it turned out to be true it certainly doesn’t warrant being incarcerated for 2 years.
It would appear that Andres has somehow inadvertently brushed up with this organisation whilst transferring his money out of Venzuala.He now finds himself alledged to be a conspiratorial ring-leader of it!It seems to be “guilt by association” rather than of any deliberate act. The prosecutors should be focussing on the true ring-leaders and not taking some low-level “fall guy”.If Andres is a “Mr Big” then the following questions need to be answered:
- Why was he only at entry-level and not at a high one in the organisation?
- What great criminal act did he do to be warrant being promoted to a VIP member so quickly – buying just one credit card that turned out to be “compromised”?
- Why are there no serious criminal acts even alledged on the idictment for Andres like all the others? No advertising or purchasing of credit card lists, no illegal operating devices, no bank fraud, no financial gains etc
- Why did he use his full genuine name and not an alias to hide his true identity like all the unknown defendants? What criminal uses his real name?
- What about the rest of the 11,000 members?Why aren’t any of them being traced and charged in the same way?There must be a few hundred seriously involved who should be rounded up instead of picking on someone whose involvement is at best circumstantial?
Who are we?
This campaign has been started by Andreina Lugo who has been Andres’s girlfriend since 2011 and Peter Lloyd a forex trader friend and chartered accountant and ex-CFO of a public quoted company. Peter met Andre on an online forex trading forum which shared trading ideas.They became good friends and traded together each day over a period of many months. He saw that unlike most traders Andre was profitable in his trading and was also generous in sharing his knowledge in the online classes that he ran.
Peter himself is very familiar with fraud having been the victim of two large scams one of which was the largest ever Ponzi fraud in the UK. It was his evidence and cooperation that was pivotal for the police to put 8 criminals in prison for terms ranging up to 14 years. Having been through that Peter has gained considerable insight into the scammer’s mind and workings. “I don’t see any behaviour to indicate that Andres is a criminal or fraudster in any way, shape or form. Scammers are entitled, selfish lazy people who think nothing to leach off the hard work of others and only their own selfish ends. Andres however is quite the opposite; extremely hardworking and very generous with both his knowledge and money.
Why would he want or need to steal when he could make so much money trading? He is a talented trader at both forex and crypto currencies. I have seen hundreds of his detailed trades as they were taken live. He once lost some of my money on a trade that he managed badly but he took full responsibility and reimbursed me for it as soon as he was able to – something that he didn’t need to do. This shows that he has real integrity and an honest character. If he was guilty of these charges, I know that he has the character to stand up and admit it. That is also why I believe he is totally innocent in this matter and that when it reaches trial it will be proven to be so.”
Peter has made a significant contribution from his own pension towards this campaign. Andreina has a law degree and has been working 12 hours a day to support Andres.