BOSTON - A Medford magic store owner was convicted today in federal court for making more than $560,000 in unauthorized charges to the credit card of a long-time customer and for trying to cover up the crime afterward.
Harry P. Levy, 61, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Patti B. Saris to one count of credit card fraud and one count of making false statements and false records in a federal investigation.
At today’s plea hearing, the prosecutor told the Court that had the case proceeded to trial, the Government’s evidence would have proven that from July 2009 through May 2011, Levy, owner of Hank Lee’s Magic Factory in Medford, made approximately $561,927 in unauthorized charges to the American Express card of a victim who was a long-time customer of Levy’s. Levy made these charges himself, but when the victim’s employees discovered the fraud, Levy claimed that it had been carried out by foreign customers who had used the victim’s credit card to pay for merchandise they had ordered. Levy even provided the victim some foreign invoices to bolster this story. Levy then repeated this story to federal investigators multiple times, although he wavered between claiming whether or not the victim had authorized the purchases and whether or not the store had shipped the merchandise. Levy also responded to a grand jury subpoena with well over 100 false documents, including the supposed invoices from foreign customers all over the world. As a result of Levy’s repeated false statements and false documents, agents searched the magic store in February 2012, where they discovered additional evidence that Levy’s story was false.
Sentencing is scheduled for July 20, 2012. Levy faces up to 15 years in prison for credit card fraud and five years for making false statements and false records, to be followed by three years of supervised release. He faces an order of forfeiture, restitution and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gain or loss, whichever is highest.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz, Robert Bethel, Inspector in Charge of the United States Postal Inspection Service, and Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis made the announcement today. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott L. Garland of Ortiz’s Cybercrimes Unit.