Michigan Man Pleads Guilty To Credit Card Fraud Conspiracy
PITTSBURGH, Pa. ‑ A resident of Detroit, Mich., pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiracy to commit credit card fraud, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.
James Lewis Reynolds, Jr., 24, pleaded guilty to one count before United States District Judge Donetta W. Ambrose.
In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that Reynolds, along with other defendants, left Michigan in early 2009 to use counterfeited, re‑encoded credit cards to make purchase of retail store gift cards at numerous Giant Eagle stores in Ohio and Pennsylvania in 2009. The group was apprehended in Cranberry Township in August 2009, and was found in possession of counterfeited credit cards and a device used to make counterfeit cards, as well. Losses total near $120,000.
Judge Ambrose scheduled sentencing for May16, 2011 at 10:00 a.m. The law provides for a total sentence of five years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
Pending sentencing, the defendant remains in custody.
Assistant United States Attorney Gregory C. Melucci is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
Inspectors from the United States Postal Inspection Service along with agents from the United States Secret Service who, as part of the Western Pennsylvania Financial Crimes Task Force, conducted the investigation that led to the indictment in this case. The Western Pennsylvania Financial Crimes Task Force (WPFCTF) was established in February1995 as a collaborative, multi-agency effort to effectively combat financial crimes, including identity fraud, in Western Pennsylvania. Partnering in this effort are the United States Attorney's Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania, the United States Secret Service, the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Department of Homeland Security, the Allegheny County District Attorney's Office, the Allegheny County Police Department, the City of Pittsburgh Bureau of Police and the Pennsylvania State Police.