Many people engage in fraud in order to get money from others. They may steal identities and get bank account information from individuals and businesses to engage in theft. Many fraud schemes are elaborate in nature, resulting in six-figure losses.
A 61-year-old man from Baltimore was indicted on multiple charges on May 10. He faces federal charges of identity theft, bank fraud, and access device fraud after engaging in a scheme to re-encode gift cards with stolen financial information. The man would then use the cards to purchase gas for truck drivers at half price, in exchange for cash.
Between October 2019 and March 2022, the man defrauded financial institutions by creating and using credit and debit card information from gift cards. He would then make fraudulent purchases and re-encode the gift cards to charge as debit and credit cards. He accomplished this by using the real banking information of people at gas stations where he would sell gas to truckers for half price.
The man created some of the counterfeited credit and debit cards from unemployment insurance benefits provided to California residents. These benefits were used without any person’s knowledge or permission. In all, the man used 594 counterfeit debit and credit cards, with a total loss of more than $170,000.
If convicted, the man faces up to 20 years in federal prison for bank fraud, as well as 15 years in federal prison for access device fraud and two years in federal prison for aggravated identity theft. Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, United States Secret Service, U.S. Department of Labor, Anne Arundel County Police, and Baltimore County Police Department were all involved in this case.
Bank fraud is a broad area that encompasses several types of fraud. The most common type involves credit cards, debit cards, and checks. Forgery is very common, and this involves forging someone’s signature on checks or altering checks to change the dollar amount (adding zeros, for example).
Check kiting is also common. This is when a person takes advantage of a bank’s float system and essentially writes checks that the bank cannot cash. Then there is identity theft, which is stealing someone’s checks and using them to create fake accounts. A person may also steal account information or credit cards.
Some organizations engage in money laundering, which involves using illegitimate money and funneling it through the banking system to make it appear legitimate. This involves lies and elaborate schemes.
While white collar crimes such as fraud and identity theft are generally non-violent, they cause a lot of financial harm to individuals and businesses. The losses can be significant.
These types of crimes come with strict punishments. Seek legal help from a Columbia white collar crime lawyer from The Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, P.A. Fill out the online form or call (410) 774-5987 to schedule a free consultation. We have two offices to serve you.
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Columbia, MD 21044