Articles Posted in Credit Card Fraud

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An Illinois man is accused of trying to use a fake debit card at a SunTrust bank, according to Boca Raton police.

An email was apparently sent to bank employees warning them of the 23-year-old man after he allegedly attempted to use the card at other branches, according to a Boca Raton police arrest report.

Reports indicate that a card scanner was placed at the back of the bank, so when the man tried to add more than $1,000 on one of his fake debit cards, an employee could easily call police.

The alleged attempted transaction happened at 11:46 a.m. on Thursday when a teller at a SunTrust Bank reported that the man was in the lobby of the bank trying to use one of the fake debit cards.

The teller had already received several emails from other SunTrust banks, warning her that a man was trying to use fake debit cards at other banks.

The teller told the man there was insufficient funds and they couldn’t give him the money, according to reports. When an officer arrived, she claims the man was walking through the bank’s parking lot and she stopped him for questioning.

The teller told the officer that the man came to her window and handed her a NetSpend Visa debit card and asked for a cash advance on the card of more than $1,000.

A detective apparently called a NetSpend representative who said the numbers didn’t match any of their cards.

The officer who questioned the man said he told her he got the card in Chicago.

5856795621_16ed8e78ce_zPolice allege that the NetSpend card had information stolen from a woman in Utah. Police also claim they also uncovered a Visa NASCAR debit card in the man’s car with information belonging to a person in Texas, according to the report.

The man faces charges of fraud, grand theft, possession of counterfeit credit cards, and forgery of credit cards. He is being held in the Palm Beach County Jail on $30,000 bail.

A Counterfeit is a copy or replica of an item, usually legal tender or currency, but can also be associated with clothing, software or other tangible goods. Additionally, counterfeiting may be used in the commission of credit card fraud. This occurs when credit cards are recreated or copied in order to make fraudulent or unauthorized charges. Counterfeiting is considered a white collar crime in which an individual or organization will create counterfeit items, usually with the intention of selling these or passing them off as originals. When it comes to money, a conviction for counterfeiting can result in a prison sentence of up to 15 years, along with hefty fines. Counterfeiting charges are aggressively prosecuted by federal prosecutors.

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A 44-year old Hastings woman was arrested Monday and charged with fraudulent use of personal identification information.

St. Johns County detectives apparently began investigating the woman in March of this year when an Ohio woman reported that her personal information was being used by the woman in St. Johns County.

According to reports, the 44-year-old allegedly accessed the Ohio victim’s Social Security number and, between November 2003 and February of this year, obtained credit from six different creditors to open charge accounts and loans amounting to $19,000 using the the victim’s personal information.

6280517815_e5d397bfd5_zThe was booked into the St. Johns County Jail and released a short time later after posting $10,000 bond.

If you have been charged with identity theft or fraud, you should know that there are serious consequences if convicted. In most cases, people charged with credit card fraud, identity theft and other charges relating to identity fraud have no idea about how much trouble they could be in.

Our St. Johns County Criminal Defense Lawyers at Whittel & Melton understand that many good people can make mistakes. One simple mistake does not warrant a state or federal conviction that will haunt you for the rest of your life.

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A University of Florida women’s basketball player was arrested Friday afternoon after a teammate accused her of stealing her credit card and using it at several stores, a nail salon and a pawn shop.

According to the arrest report, the 21-year-old woman was charged with theft of a credit card and fraudulent use of a credit card. The report identifies the woman as a member of the women’s basketball team.

The victim was listed as the woman’s teammate. The report alleges that the woman took her teammate’s credit card without permission on Jan. 11 from the women’s locker room of the basketball practice facility. According to reports, the locker room is secured by a key code known only to the team, coaches and janitorial staff.

12696032183_0d9622ae98_zThe alleged stolen card was used at Macy’s and a nail salon at The Oaks Mall on Monday, according to police. It was used on Tuesday at some other shops as well as a pawn shop.

On Friday, the woman apparently told police she found the card outside the practice facility and allegedly admitted to using the card at the stores, police said. She told officers she threw the card away after using it.

Credit card fraud often involves identity theft. It can be defined as many things, including:

  • Stealing a credit card and assuming the victim’s identity in order to purchase merchandise or goods
  • Theft of credit card data
  • Using credit card data without permission to make online purchases
  • Opening a new credit card account using someone else’s information
  • Using forged credit cards

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The High Springs Police Department and the Alachua-Gainesville Drug Task Force uncovered what they believe is a methamphetamine lab last week while investigating a case of fraud.

HSPD was investigating a 34-year-old man for alleged fraudulent use of a credit card when they received a confidential tip that the man had methamphetamine inside a cooler at or near a home in High Springs, according to reports.

HSPD went to the man’s home after obtaining a narcotics search warrant. They arrived at the man’s house around 8 p.m. Wednesday and allegedly found a cooler on the north side of the residence containing items used for cooking methamphetamine.

2690501345_dee8d3276d_mThe Alachua-Gainesville Drug Task Force helped execute the warrant and the High Springs Fire Department was on scene for safety reasons.

The man was in the custody of the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office before the investigation began of the drug charges. The man is now facing additional charges of possession with intent to manufacture or sell a controlled substance.

In the state of Florida, possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell, manufacture or deliver can be classified as a second or third degree felony. The charges all depend on the type of substance involved. The consequences of a conviction for this type of drug charge are extremely harsh, with a very significant possibility of jail or prison time.

It is important to realize that in many Florida drug possession cases, the accused does not have any actual intent to sell the drugs in question. The term “intent to sell or manufacture” is usually added to simple possession charges in order to increase the penalties of an offense or intimidate the accused.

In most cases, the evidence admitted by the prosecution for charges of possession with intent to sell or manufacture are consistent with personal use. Paraphernalia found on the property is often used to tack on additional charges. However, it can be difficult for the prosecution to prove that the accused was in possession of all the drugs and/or paraphernalia that indicated an intent to sell.

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A West Palm Beach woman faces federal charges of identity theft and tax fraud after she allegedly stole personal information from more than 700 people.

The 39-year-old woman is accused of stealing personal information and storing  it in a notebook that included names, dates of birth and Social Security numbers, according to the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida.

Investigators allege the woman may have used some of the names to get prescription drugs, according to federal court records.

The accused and two others were arrested in October 2012 for credit card fraud greater than $100 in Martin County. Police were notified after a shoplifting incident was reported at the Treasure Coast Mall.

Once detained, officers claim they uncovered notebooks filled with 726 names and Social Security numbers, most of which belonged to people in Boynton Beach and Delray Beach,  20 debit cards and an iPad, according to federal records.

identity theftAccording to IRS investigators, most of the names and account numbers the woman had in her possession were used to file fraudulent tax returns that sought tax refund payments to credit and debit cards.

The Martin County Sheriff’s Office referred the woman’s case to the IRS. Federal records indicate that the woman told federal investigators a man she knew had broken into a car on the day of her arrest, and stole credit cards and a gun.

The woman and the two men she was with are all convicted felons. According to Palm Beach County records, the woman pleaded guilty to felony battery in 2000 and 2004. She was also convicted of fraudulent use of a credit card in Palm Beach County in 2001.

She allegedly admitted to police that she and one of the men had broken into multiple cars and stolen credit cards. Police claim she told them she stole identification information to help others. She denied filing false tax returns.

However, investigators claim the woman filed false 2012 tax returns in early 2013 after her October 2012 arrest. Federal documents allege that the woman’s home contained additional names, information and letters from the IRS not addressed to her. Records indicate that the woman also had tax software on her computer with 2012 tax return information.

Investigators allege they found multiple returns that had been filed from the woman’s IP address.

The woman faces charges of unlawful possession of unauthorized access devices and five counts of aggravated identity theft. She faces 10 years in prison if convicted and is currently being held without bail.

If you have been charged with identity theft or any other related crimes, you must act fast and mount a hard-hitting, proactive defense. Make no mistake that the prosecution will be pushing hard for a conviction, and failing to address these charges early on could be the difference between a conviction and a successful outcome.

Due to the advances in technology and the Internet, identity theft has become a major criminal offense within the past few years. Often times these offenses cross state lines or are charged alongside with other serious criminal offenses, thus making them federal crimes. A Martin County Criminal Defense Attorney at Whittel & Melton knows the unique differences between state and federal criminal charges and can provide you with the strongest legal representation so that you can achieve an outcome that you can live with.

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A volunteer firefighter with the Columbia County Fire Department was arrested on March 7 for allegedly using an agency fuel credit card to pay for more than $7,500 worth of gas for his personal vehicle and his friends’ vehicles.

The 19-year-old Lake City, Florida man was charged with grand theft and fraudulent use of a credit card.

According to the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, 181 fraudulent transactions were made using the fuel card, which was apparently reported stolen from a fire department vehicle on March 2 after a number of charges were allegedly made on the card.

Police claim they identified the volunteer firefighter as the suspect after apparently viewing surveillance footage from gas stations.

The man was held on $21,000 bond.

Florida has very specific laws set in place to protect the public against credit card fraud. A misdemeanor or felony credit card fraud offense can be charged when someone is accused of signing, taking, forging, using, obtaining, selling or buying someone else’s credit card, debit card or account information. Simply put, knowingly using a stolen, expired, altered, counterfeited, forged or revoked credit card will likely result in theft charges. It’s very important to recognize that while credit card fraud is charged as either petty or grand theft, you could also face forgery and identity theft charges. As you may or may not know, grand theft is classified in Florida as any theft totaling more than $300. It can be a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison if the total falls under $5,000, but if the theft is more than $5,000 it can be labeled a second or first-degree felony.

The Florida Credit Card Fraud Defense Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can help you understand the complex legal issues that arise following charges of grand theft and fraudulent use of a credit card. By initially investigating the circumstances involved, we can often uncover flaws and irregularities in the government’s case that may help protect your legal rights. State and federal agencies may pursue cases of credit card fraud, however usually these cases are prosecuted by the U.S. Secret Service. Many of these typed of theft-related charges require the prosecution to prove there was intent to commit fraud. For many accused of credit card fraud, this is their best chance at avoiding a conviction.

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