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While many people think of acts of fraud as being complex schemes involving meticulous planning, one of the most common types of this crime involve the illegal use of credit cards or debit cards. Whether it is using the actual card of another party or using information associated with such a card, many improper actions are prohibited under both state and federal laws.
In many cases of alleged credit or debit card fraud, people accused of wrongdoing had absolutely no criminal intent and oftentimes believed they had the expressed permission of the cardholders to perform certain transactions. It is important to take these criminal charges seriously, as convictions can result in enormous fines and lengthy terms of incarceration.
If you have been arrested or think that you could be under investigation for fraudulent use of a credit or debit card in Texas, you should not delay in seeking legal counsel. Goldstein, Goldstein, Hilley & Orr has been defending clients throughout Bexar County since 1968.
Gerry Goldstein, Cynthia Orr, Van Hilley, and Don Flanary are experienced and respected criminal defense attorneys in San Antonio who have served in leadership roles for various legal organizations and have been asked to speak at prominent legal seminars around the country. They can review your case and answer all of your legal questions during a free consultation when you call 210-226-1463 today.
Acts of credit or debit card fraud in the Lone Star State are prosecuted under credit card or debit card abuse in Texas Penal Code § 32.31. This statute establishes 11 possible violations that can result in criminal charges, including alleged offenders doing any of the following:
In most cases, any of the violations listed above are classified as a state jail felony punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and/or up to two years in jail.
If the alleged victim of an act of credit or debit card fraud is an elderly person, then the alleged offense becomes a third-degree felony punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and/or up to five years in prison.
When an alleged act of credit or debit card fraud involves interstate or foreign commerce, then an alleged offender can possibly result in federal charges. Fraud and related activity in connection with access devices is codified under 18 U.S. Code § 1029.
Federal law defines an access device as “any card, plate, code, account number, electronic serial number, mobile identification number, personal identification number, or other telecommunications service, equipment, or instrument identifier, or other means of account access that can be used, alone or in conjunction with another access device, to obtain money, goods, services, or any other thing of value, or that can be used to initiate a transfer of funds (other than a transfer originated solely by paper instrument).”
Alleged offenders could face a fine of up to $250,000 and/or be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison if they:
Alleged offenders could receive a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and/or be ordered to pay a maximum fine of $250,000 if they:
If alleged offenders have been previously convicted of any of these offenses, then they face a fine and/or up to 20 years in prison. If convicted of any of these crimes, any personal property of the alleged offenders used or intended to be used to commit the offenses is subject to forfeiture to the United States.
Financial Crimes Unit | The City of San Antonio — The Financial Crimes Unit of the San Antonio Police Department (SAPD) is divided into a Forgery Unit and a White Collar Unit. The Forgery Unit investigates such cases as credit card abuse, identity theft, and counterfeit or forged checks, while the White Collar Unit investigates embezzlement, elder fraud, and other complex financial crimes. You can file complaints, report crimes, and learn more about these units on this website.
San Antonio Police Department
Public Safety Headquarters building (PSHQ)
315 South Santa Rosa Avenue
San Antonio, TX 78207
Protecting Against Credit Card Fraud | Consumer Information — You can learn about how credit card fraud happens, what you can do, and how to report losses and fraud on this section of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) website. Additional information includes what to do if you have a lost or stolen credit, ATM, and debit card as well as tips about so-called “Credit Card Loss Protection.” You can also learn how to keep your personal information secure.
Do you believe that you are currently being investigated or have you already been arrested in Texas for alleged credit or debit card fraud? Whether you are facing possible state or federal charges, it will be in your best interest to immediately seek legal representation.
Goldstein, Goldstein, Hilley & Orr aggressively defends clients accused of all kinds of white collar criminal offenses in Bexar County. You can receive a complete evaluation of your case as soon as you call 210-226-1463 or submit an online contact form to take advantage of a free, confidential consultation.