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Press Release

New Haven Man Charged with Credit Card Fraud, Wire Fraud and Identity Theft Offenses

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Connecticut

John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that a federal grand jury in New Haven has returned a 10-count indictment charging STEVEN A. FINKLER, 55, of New Haven, with credit card fraud, wire fraud and identity theft offenses.

The indictment was returned on August 8, 2019, and Finkler was arrested on August 15.  He appeared yesterday before U.S. Magistrate Judge William I. Garfinkel in Bridgeport and pleaded not guilty to the charges.  Finkler is detained pending trial.

As alleged in the indictment, in August 2017, Finkler, who has a prior federal conviction for access device fraud (credit card fraud), made more than $1,000 worth of fraudulent purchases using the credit cards of two victims.

The indictment further alleges that Finkler, using another individual’s identity, opened a membership at a fitness center with gym locations throughout Connecticut.  Finkler also used the same stolen identity to create accounts with mobile device payment applications.  Between September 2018 and May 2019, Finkler visited multiple gym locations and stole credit cards from lockers and other locations while the victims were located elsewhere in the gym.  Using the stolen credit cards, and the mobile device payment applications, he made thousands of dollars in fictitious charges to internet bank accounts that he created and controlled.  He then returned the credit cards to the victims’ wallets before the victims returned to the locker room.

The indictment charges Finkler with one count of access device fraud and four counts of wire fraud.  Each of these charges carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.  The indictment also charges Finkler with five counts of aggravated identity theft, an offense that carries a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of two years on each count.

U.S. Attorney Durham stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt.  Charges are only allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This matter is being investigated by the U.S. Secret Service, Connecticut Financial Crimes Task Force, and the Wallingford, Avon, North Haven, Madison, Glastonbury and Branford Police Departments.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sarala Nagala and Margaret Maigret.

U.S. Attorney Durham noted that Steven Finkler has also used the name “Andrew Finkler,” as well as other aliases.  Individuals who believe they have been victimized by this scheme, or by this defendant, are encouraged to call the U.S. Secret Service at 203-865-2449.

Updated August 28, 2019

Financial Fraud
Identity Theft