News and Press Releases

Ambridge Man Pleads Guilty In Credit Card Fraud Scheme

January 20, 2012

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - A resident of Western Pennsylvania pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of conspiracy to commit credit card fraud and identity theft, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

Calvin Smith, 42, of Ambridge, Pa., pleaded guilty yesterday to one count before United States District Judge Arthur J. Schwab.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that Smith, along with others, conspired to obtain unauthorized American Express credit cards, which were used to purchase merchandise at Target, Best Buy and other retailers in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia in December 2010 through June 2011.  The losses exceeded $200,000.

Judge Schwab scheduled sentencing for June 22, 2012.  The law provides for a maximum total sentence of five years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both.  Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Smith remains in custody pending sentencing.

Assistant United States Attorney Gregory C. Melucci is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

Officers from the United States Postal Inspection Service and United States Secret Service, along with along with agents from the Western Pennsylvania Financial Crimes Task Force conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Smith.  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.

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