Man Charged with Identity Theft, Credit Card Fraud

Alabama police caught a 30-year-old Brooklyn resident, Edward Earl Jones, with 39 fake credit cards worth $500,000 after he charged thousands of dollars at local Target stores. The information used, which included credit and debit card accounts, was stolen from actual Alabama Regions Bank customers. The shopping spree occurred over one weekend; however, police were able to stop Jones before he spent $10,000.

Types of Credit Card Fraud

Generally, credit card fraud crimes can be categorized in one of two ways: card “present” or “not present.” The first type of crime occurs when a person’s physical card was actually taken, while the second occurs without the need of the physical card. Often, the credit card number or other identifying information is obtained by some other means (online, over the phone, etc.).

Some states require a defendant to use the account number or card itself in order to bring charges. Others have the authority to charge a person with intent to use without authorization – in other words, a completed act of using the card is not required. Moreover, because of their similarity most states apply the same criminal statutes to debit and credit cards.

Proving Credit Card Fraud

Federal credit card fraud law is written by legislators in general terms in order to cast a wide net over the numerous ways the crime can be committed. Accordingly, penalties are in proportion to the monetary value of the items – or cash – obtained by the accused. In order for the government to secure a conviction, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:

  1. the defendant took a credit card, or credit card account number, from another;
  2. the taking of was with the intent to use, sell or transfer it to a third party;
  3. the defendant used the card information to buy something of value; and
  4. the defendant had the intent to defraud.

The defendant’s previous history, if any, will affect the penalty if convicted. First time offenders, without any previous criminal charges may face fines and probation, while a repeat offender will likely face incarceration.

Credit Card Fraud Defense

If you or someone you know has been charged with credit card fraud, or any other crime, contact an experienced and aggressive credit card fraud defense attorney today. The government’s legal department will work hard to prosecute your case; you should have a skilled and aggressive attorney who will fight to defend your case. With decades of experience in state and federal criminal cases from the trial through the appellate level, Fort Lauderdale criminal attorney Carl H. Lida will work hard to put the best defense forward. Call (954) 472-5001 today to learn about your rights.

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