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Penalties for Credit Card Fraud

by | Jun 16, 2022 | Criminal Charges, Criminal Defense |

Every day, the number of those who have been victims of credit card fraud grows in Florida and throughout the United States.

According to new research (n.d.), Florida is the second state with the highest rate of identity theft by credit card at 44%, with about 44,600 reported cases. 

The same research shows (n.d.) that it is expected that by 2025 the number of losses incurred by credit card fraud will reach $12.5 billion in the US.

What is Credit Card Fraud?

Under the Florida Law, credit card fraud is committed when an individual uses a credit card that was:

  • Unlawfully obtained
  • Knows to be forged
  • Presented under the name of the cardholder without his/her permission

All of the above to obtain money or defraud a merchant with goods or services.

Multiple fraudulent uses from a single card within six months are treated as a single crime. However, it only takes one time to be convicted.

All of the information above includes:

  • ATM cards
  • Banking cards
  • Check cards
  • Credit cards
  • Cebit cards 
  • Other cards used in financial transactions.

Elements

To convict the defendant, the prosecutor must prove that he/she:

  • Intentionally used a forged or stolen credit card to obtain money or make a payment for goods or services.
  • Knew the card was being stolen, forged, or obtained unlawfully, and nevertheless, represented him or herself as the cardholder.

Penalties

Credit card fraud can be classified as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the value of the goods obtained through the fraudulent use of the card or the number of times the credit card was used.

Generally, these numbers are calculated within a six-month time frame. 

Misdemeanor Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card

It occurs when the credit card was used less than two times and/or the value of the goods obtained was less than $100.

The penalties include:

  • Up to one year in jail.
  • Up to one year of probation.
  • A $1,000 fine.

Felony Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card.

It occurs when, during a six-month time frame, the credit card was used more than twice or if the value of the items obtained was more than $100.

It is considered a third-degree felony, and the penalties might include:

  • Up to five years in prison.
  • Up to five years of probation.
  • A $5,000 fine.

 

If you find yourself facing any criminal charges, you need a professional attorney on your side. Russell Spatz, of the Spatz Law Firm, PL, has decades of experience handling serious criminal and family law cases. Contact him at 305-442-0200 to discuss your case.

Resources:

  • M. (n.d.). 25 Credit Card Fraud Statistics To Know in 2021 + 5 Steps for Reporting Fraud. MintLife Blog. Retrieved June 15, 2022, from https://mint.intuit.com/blog/planning/credit-card-fraud-statistics/

 

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