What is the Penalty for Credit Card Fraud in Maryland?
A Baltimore woman has been sentenced to four years in prison followed by five years of supervised release for crimes that stem from her use of counterfeit credit cards.
According to her plea, from the winter of 2012 to July 2014, the woman and others created counterfeit credit cards, using stolen or otherwise compromised credit and debit card numbers belonging to others. They encoded the stolen account information onto credit and stored value cards which were then used to obtain money and credit from banks and credit unions. These proceeds were used to buy consumer products, including designer shoes and designer clothes.
The loss attributable to the conspiracy was between $120,000 and $200,000 and involves up to 49 victims.
Credit card fraud is on the rise. It can include applying for a credit card fraudulently, creating or using counterfeit cards or using another person’s card without permission. The number of total identity fraud victims in the U.S., which partially includes credit card fraud victims, reached an all-time high of 15.4 million people in 2016, according to a recent study.
Penalties for Credit Card Fraud in Maryland
Credit card fraud penalties in Maryland vary, depending on the value of the items charged.
A conviction for fraudulent use of a credit card in purchasing items valued at under $100 is a misdemeanor and the maximum penalty is 90 days in jail and a $500 fine.
A conviction for fraudulent use of a credit card in purchasing items valued at under $1000 is a misdemeanor and the maximum penalty is 18 months in jail and a $500 fine.
A conviction for fraudulent use of a credit card for items valued at $1000 or more, is a felony and the maximum penalty is 15 years in jail.
Fraud perpetuated in procuring the issuance of a credit card is a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum of 18 months jailtime and a $500 fine.
Credit card counterfeiting is a felony, punishable by a maximum of 15 years in jail and a $1,000 fine.
The unlawful use or disclosure of card numbers is a felony subject to as many as 15 years in prison and a fine up to $1,000.
For most first offense charges of under $1000 or under $100, the risk of jail time is low as long as there are no other criminal charges or extenuating circumstances.
Restitution, in which the accused makes payments to the court to compensate the victim, and then the court sends the payment to the victim, can be an element in Baltimore credit card charges. In some instances, victims have agreed to restitution in exchange for dropping the charges.
There are ways to challenge credit card fraud charges in Baltimore. If you’ve been accused of credit card fraud in Baltimore, you should talk to a Maryland credit card fraud lawyer. A Baltimore credit card fraud attorney can examine your case for defense options, including filing motions to suppress evidence, mistaken identity or a misunderstanding over the use of the card. The attorneys at The Law Offices of Thomas J. Maronick can help. You can contact Thomas Maronick on his cellphone at 202.288.0167, the law office at 410.934.3007 or via our website for a free consultation.