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Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C.
630-472-9700Available 24/7

Credit Card Fraud in Illinois

credit card fraud, Illinois crime, criminal defense, DuPage County criminal defense attorney, white collar crimeA major crime that is becoming more and more common is that of credit card fraud. Earlier this year, two individuals were arrested in the Chicago area by the United States Secret Service’s Chicago Electronic Crimes Task Force on charges of credit card fraud. The two men in this case did not do any fancy computer hacking, but were able to obtain credit card information, which they then used to purchase electronics. Once the purchases were made, they had the electronics shipped to empty homes, where they could easily go and pick up the packages.   This is an example of credit card fraud. During the 2013 holiday season, major identity and credit card thefts made headlines when it was discovered that millions and millions of customers at Target stores nationwide may have had their credit card information stolen through technological trickery. Such network intrusions occurred at Target, as well as other consumer locations, such as grocery stores and major retailers.  Those credit card numbers are sold to buyers, often times in other countries.  The reselling of those credit card numbers is another example of credit card fraud. Illinois Credit Card Law Under Illinois law, credit card fraud and identity theft are taken very seriously. It is a criminal offense in the state to knowingly make a false statement in order to procure a credit card. It is also an offense to possess a lost credit card with the knowledge that it is in fact lost, and with the intent to use or sell it; to possess another’s credit card without their consent and with the intent to use or sell it; as well as to knowingly sell or purchase a credit card without the issuer’s consent. Criminal credit card fraud also occurs through the knowing use of forged, counterfeited, expired, or revoked cards to make a purchase, or making a purchase by falsely representing one’s identity as the actual legitimate cardholder. Possible sentences for the crime of credit card fraud and identity theft will be handed out based upon the number of credit cards that were stolen, the amount of value of the property stolen by credit card, and the number of transactions that were made.  It also matters whether the case is being brought under federal laws or under Illinois statutes.  In Illinois, a Class A Misdemeanor for credit card fraud is punishable up to 364 days in jail and/or up to a $2,500 fine. Potential Defenses Lack of intent to defraud the owner of the credit on the part of the accused is a possible defense. Perhaps, you were given permission to use the credit card and now the owner of the card claims that you were not authorized to use it.  It may also be a defense if you stole and used credit card information under duress by another person who forced you to use the card. You may be able to argue that you abandoned the transaction before completing it so it is not a crime, or that you were induced by law enforcement to commit the fraud, thus raising a possible defense of entrapment. There are many additional possible defenses that one may use to combat credit card fraud charges. Each case is very different and the defense created for each case must be designed based upon the facts and circumstances of the particular case.  All angles must be reviewed and all avenues pursued.

The aforementioned types of credit card fraud and possible defenses serve merely as a general overview. There are in fact many more unique acts that constitute credit card fraud, which is a very serious crime. If you have been charged with such fraud, you need a vigorous defense. Contact Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C. at 630-472-9700 for a free consultation. Serving defendants in the following courthouses:  Cook County, Chicago, Daley Center, Rolling Meadows, Skokie, Bridgeview, Maywood, DuPage County, Wheaton, Will County, Joliet, Plainfield, Bolingbrook, Kane County, St. Charles, Geneva, and others in the Chicagoland area.

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