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Maryland man escapes arrest for credit card fraud December 16, 2008

Posted by jefhenningeresq in My Cases.
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A few weeks ago,  a Detective from a police department in South Jersey called a man from Maryland to ask him to give a statement with regard to allegations of credit card fraud and identity  theft.  Luckily for him, he called my office before doing anything. 

When I spoke with the client, I learned that the total amount allegedly stolen exceeded $150,000 from one victim, but via two different credit cards.  By the time I was involved in the case, both credit companies had already tried to resolve the case with my client for quite some time.  They had now contacted the police to start prosecution.

When I spoke to the police, it seemed like it was too late.  A criminal complaint was already drawn up and there was no interest in trying to settle the case.  The only thing to do was turn in the client.  Due to court schedules and the Decetive’s vacation, it would be about two weeks until we had to turn him in.  The charges were second degree, which means his bail would be high and he would go to prison if convicted (even for a first time offender). 

The news only got worse.   Since he was an out of state resident, a bail bond would be tough to secure.   In addition, the credit card companies didn’t seem like they wanted to deal with me.  It was not looking good. 

As a lawyer that does not take no  for an answer, I called both credit card companies again to see if I could do anything to work this  out.  I discovered that one credit card was used in Maryland so that the client would be  facing charges in two states.  I got a hold of an investigator from that company who was just about to dot the i’s and cross t’s on a criminal complaint down there.  We worked out a nice resolution that allowed my client to pay them off over time without pressing any criminal charges.  One down, one to go.

This other one wouldn’t be so easy.  Due to the manner in which the alleged fraud was structured, some of the debt was stuck with the victim, not my client.  With the victim looking at paying 10’s of thousands in credit card debt she did not authorize, she was not willing to help us.  I was able to push the  date back for the client to turn himself in to buy us more time.

After several weeks of burning up the phone lines, we reached a deal that would allow my client to assume all of the fraudulent debt.  Both the victim and the credit company withdrew the charges and the Detective was happy that he didn’t have to deal with the case.  

Although I always try to be hopeful about every case, I was planning on my client being arrested.  I was already thinking about how the trial would look like.  If this client would have given a statement before calling me, this entire case would have been very, very different.

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