SPELLMAN LAW, P.C.
Based In West Des Moines, Iowa, Practicing In Central
Iowa And Throughout The State Of Iowa

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When is credit card fraud considered a federal crime?

On Behalf of | Jan 31, 2022 | Federal Crimes |

Credit card fraud charges are a serious concern for those living in Iowa and elsewhere. These charges can be serious and may even involve federal prosecution. Protecting yourself against these felony charges is important.

Is credit card fraud a federal crime?

Most credit card fraud offenses are charged on the state level, but many are charged as federal crimes. There has been a stark increase in instances of this type of fraud due to the advancements in technology. While credit card fraud can take place in different forms, there are many federal laws in place for prosecuting individuals who are suspected of committing those offenses.

Who can be charged with credit card fraud?

A person could be charged with credit card fraud based on certain elements being present. Felony fraud crimes involve the use of access devices. Federal credit card fraud is commonly referred to as “access device fraud.” Using or trafficking with access devices and possessing 15 or more of those devices are elements of the crime. Having a scanning receiver and using or trafficking it and gaining anything that carries a value of $1,000 or greater within one year with an access device make up a federal credit card fraud offense.

Overall, using a credit card that has been stolen, lost, forged or altered to purchase any goods or services is illegal. Federal charges are added to a credit card fraud charge when those goods or services amount to $1,000 or more within a one-year period.

What are the penalties for federal credit card fraud?

The penalties for a conviction of federal credit card fraud are harsh. A person could be sentenced to 10 to 15 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $25,000 based on the specific violation. It’s also possible for the person to be required to pay restitution for the crime.

Individuals who are convicted of credit card fraud on the federal level are also required to forfeit money and items they obtained through the illegal activity.

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Sean P. Spellman
Mary K. “Molly” Spellman