BOSTON - A Medford magic store owner was sentenced for making more than $560,000 in unauthorized charges to the credit card of a long-time customer. The owner also tried to cover up the crime by lying to federal investigators and submitting numerous false records to federal investigators and the grand jury.
Harry P. Levy, 61, of Lexington, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Patti B. Saris to two years in prison, to be followed by two years of supervised release, restitution of all money owed, forfeiture and a $6,000 fine. On April 20, 2012, Levy pleaded guilty to credit card fraud and making false statements and submitting false records in a federal investigation.
From July 23, 2009, through May 5, 2011, Levy made approximately 134 unauthorized charges totaling $562,000 to the American Express card of a victim identified as R.G., a wealthy, long-time customer of Levy’s. Levy’s fraud forced R.G. to put his house on the market and complicated R.G.’s financing for a new company.
Levy made the unauthorized charges himself, but when R.G.’s employees discovered the fraud, Levy claimed that the charges had been made by foreign customers who had ordered merchandise using R.G.’s credit card. Levy even provided R.G. some foreign invoices to bolster this story. On multiple occasions, Levy then repeated this story to federal investigators and gave the grand jury well over 100 false documents, including falsified invoices purportedly representing orders from around the world. Levy’s repeated obstruction of justice forced agents to search the magic store in February 2012, where they discovered additional evidence, showing Levy’s story was false.
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 was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott L. Garland of Ortiz’s Cybercrimes Unit.