Fort Washington Man Sentenced in $163,000 Credit Card Fraud Scheme

December 3, 2012

Greenbelt, Maryland - Chief U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow sentenced Reginald Harold Jefferies, age 36, of Fort Washington, Maryland, today to 18 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for fraud in connection with access devices. Chief Judge Chasanow also entered an order that Jefferies pay restitution of $187,881.88, and forfeit $163,376.18 and all property seized during a search of Jefferies residence.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Postal Inspector in Charge Gary R. Barksdale of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service - Washington Division; Special Agent in Charge Stephen E. Vogt of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Chief Mark A. Magaw of the Prince George’s County Police Department.

“Credit card theft and fraud causes tremendous turmoil for tens of thousands of citizens; both in our community and across our country,” stated Prince George’s County Police Chief Mark Magaw. “We were happy to work with our federal partners on this investigation. Sentences like the one handed down in this case make our communities more safe and send a message that credit card fraud won’t be tolerated.”

According to his guilty plea, from February 20, 2008 to April 2, 2010, Jefferies obtained credit cards in his own name and added fictitious names as secondary users on the accounts. Jefferies used the credit cards to order items from merchants on payment plans, frequently using the fictitious secondary names. Jefferies provided multiple shipping addresses, including addresses for himself, his friends and relatives, and vacant locations.

Pursuant to the payment plans, the merchants charged Jefferies’ credit cards in installments over a period of time. Merchants typically were able to charge for the initial payment for the item Jefferies had purchased. Jefferies then reported to the credit card companies that his credit cards had been lost or stolen. The credit card companies closed those credit card accounts and issued Jefferies new credit card account numbers. When the merchants tried to charge Jefferies’ credit cards for the subsequent installment payments, they were unable to do so because those accounts had been closed. As a result, the merchants lost more than $163,376.18 on the balances due.

Jefferies maintained at least three eBay accounts, which he used to sell the items that he had fraudulently obtained from the merchants.

Law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Jefferies’ residence on April 2, 2010 and seized more than 100 credit cards in Jefferies’ name or in the names of fictitious secondary users.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the U.S. Postal Inspection Service - Washington Division, FBI and Prince George’s County Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorney Mara Zusman Greenberg, who prosecuted the case.

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