Credit and Debit Card Fraud in California - Penal Code 484e PC
When it comes to credit card fraud cases, you're definitely going to want to get an attorney who is sophisticated in this area of the law. A lot of people's credit has been damaged and the prosecutors and judges are especially sympathetic towards victims of credit card fraud in Los Angeles.
Many of the prosecutors and judges have actually been victims of credit card fraud schemes and therefore, they go out of their way to punish those offenders who they believe have taken another identity and used it in an improper manner and who they believe have caused damage to another party – both by them losing money and by them losing their good credit or good name.
Different Types of Schemes
Therefore, you are going to want an attorney who has handled cybercrime cases before who is local to the court where your case is pending and knows how to get the best results. In credit card cases in Los Angeles County, there are all kinds of different schemes that are going on that the authorities are looking out for.
For example, people can be manufacturing credit cards where they have a whole operator in their home or at some business and they are stealing people's identity, putting them on a credit card and then they send out shoppers to actually shop the cards and cause people to incur debt and cause stores to incur debt.
Another form of credit card fraud that's covered by Penal Code Section 484(e) has to do with people becoming involved in what is characterized as a bust-out scheme, where they take their own credit cards, run them up with no intent to pay them off, even order more credit cards, run those up with no intent to pay them off, and then basically do not pay them or try to declare bankruptcy. In the meantime, they've caused huge losses for credit card companies and racked up a bunch of expensive merchandise or credit for themselves.
There are so many different schemes that I've seen over the course of the last twenty-five years. Another credit card scheme that I've seen that is usually dealt with by the feds is people are placing credit card boxes in gas stations and then when people swipe it, they take the person's information and then they switch the box out and then they use the information in the box in order to make credit cards and have shoppers go out and shop them.
Other people are going to stores using people's identity, capturing people's social security numbers, causing credit cards to be used or causing credit to be used. There are all different forms of credit card frauds out there that are prosecuted pursuant to Penal Code Section 484(e).
Credit/debit cars fraud is committed when one person 1) fraudulently obtains, takes, signs, uses, sells, buys, or forges someone else's credit or debit card or card information; 2) uses his or her own card with the knowledge that it is revoked or expired or that the account lacks enough money to pay for the items charged; and 3) sells goods or services to someone else with knowledge that the credit or debit card being used was illegally obtained or is being used without authorization.
California has laws that govern the penalties allowed for credit card fraud convictions. First-time offenders of credit card fraud convicted in California can be sent to prison for 10 to 15 years. The number of years a defendant is sent to prison is dependent in part to whether the defendant also has prior convictions for other crimes.
Defenses To Credit Card Fraud In California
There are a number of different defenses that I've utilized over the years in credit card fraud cases. Probably the best on is that the person that they are claiming caused this credit issue is not the person that did it. So, any defense in any criminal case is going to spin on its own facts, especially in credit card fraud cases.
You're going to have to look at the evidence the prosecutors have and decide whether or not there is other evidence that can be brought to bear that shows, in reality, your client is not the one that caused this fraud and that somebody else did, or that the prosecutors simply do not have the evidence to prove your client guilty of a credit card fraud case.
So, if you've got a credit card fraud case pending in LA county and need some help, I suggest you set up an appointment and we'll go over everything. I'll need you to tell me the truth. Don't omit anything. Then we can come up with a game plan on how we're going to deal with everything.
One big thing – if the authorities have the goods you – that makes a difference is if we can pay back the loss to the injured party or parties. Making a victim whole or paying restitution in a credit card fraud case is one of the key things that the prosecutors are looking at because they assume it's one of their jobs to help victims of crime make them whole and repair their good credit. Anything that we can do towards that if the authorities have the goods on you is a great damage-control mechanism and can be used to protect your record, your reputation and your freedom.