Credit card fraud occurs when someone intentionally uses another’s person’s credit card or uses counterfeit credit or debit cards. Like all fraud cases, credit card fraud involves an attempt to knowingly deceive someone for monetary or material gain. Anyone charged with this type of offense faces serious penalties.
Recently, three men have pleaded guilty in Baton Rouge federal court to charges related to using counterfeit credit and debit cards. Specifically, the authorities accused the defendants of using fake credit and debit cards to purchase $27,000 in gift cards from retailers such as Wal-Mart, Home Depot and Dillards.
According to a special agent of the U.S. Secret Service, the defendants used a laptop computer to manufacture the counterfeit cards, using codes from stolen credit and debit numbers.
The three defendants were supposed to appear for a trial beginning yesterday. However, they entered plea agreements before doing so.
Counterfeiting credit cards, using stolen or lost cards and fraudulently acquiring credit cards through the mail are all typical types of credit card fraud. All of these offenses are investigated and prosecuted primarily under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Secret Service, though other state and federal agencies may also choose to pursue cases.
As with a majority of white collar crimes, credit card fraud is a complex legal issue. Defendants can be most easily helped by consulting with an experienced defense attorney as soon as they discover they are being investigated. A defense lawyer will not only represent the accused in court, but may also be able to negotiate lesser charges or even prevent criminal charges from being filed.
Source: chron.com, “3 from Houston admit to credit card fraud in Louisiana,” 17 May 2011