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Press Release

St. Louis Area Woman Sentenced on Charges Involving a Credit Card Fraud Scheme

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

St. Louis, MO – Cherri Barton was sentenced to 57 months in prison on charges involving a scheme to defraud several elderly victims and credit card issuers of more than $112,588 between August 2012 and May 2015.  Barton called elderly individuals and told them their accounts were past due in order to obtain their identifying information and bank account information.  She then used the information to purchase items, including gift cards.

According to court documents, in August 2012, Barton began telephoning elderly people with a ruse that their utilities were in danger of being disconnected due to lack of payment. In order to continue service, they were required to provide a credit card number. In further discussions, Barton also obtained identifying information, such as social security numbers and dates of birth.  Using this information, Barton contacted the victims’ creditors and added herself as an authorized user to the credit accounts.  In order to perpetrate the scheme, Barton also transferred the telephone services of some of the victims to her cell phone so when creditors attempted to contact the legitimate account holders, they reached the defendant.

Barton, St. Louis County, pled guilty in January to one felony count of aggravated identity theft and three felony counts of access device fraud.  She appeared today for sentencing before United States District Judge Carol E. Jackson. 

The case was investigated by the Postal Inspection Service, St. Louis County Police Department and the cities of Maryland Heights, Florissant, Overland, St. Louis, Clayton, Webster Groves and University City. Assistant United States Attorney Tracy Berry handled the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Updated May 19, 2016

Identity Theft